More Than Half of U.S. Pipelines Are at Least 46 Years Old

The Wall Street Journal

Nov. 2, 2016

By Alison Sider and Nicole Friedman

More than 60% of U.S. fuel pipelines were built before 1970, according to federal figures. Recent disruptions on Colonial Pipeline Co.’s fuel artery running up the East Coast show why some energy observers worry that this is a problem.

The pipeline, which began operating fully in 1964, was partially shut down for nearly two weeks in September. Fuel prices spiked throughout the Southeast, rising more than 20 cents a gallon in places like Atlanta.

Motorists this week began to worry again after the company’s main gasoline pipeline, which supplies about a third of the gas consumed on the East Coast, was shut down. It was struck by construction equipment Monday, killing one person and injuring several others.

The company has said the 5,500-mile pipeline, which runs from Houston to New Jersey and serves 13 states, could restart as soon as Saturday, though as of Wednesday afternoon the pipeline was still on fire. Gasoline futures fell 2.4%, to $1.4479 a gallon, on the New York Mercantile Exchange Wednesday after rising as much as 15% following the Colonial explosion.



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