CHARLOTTE, N.C.(September 19, 2016) The Carolinas are seeing temporarily higher prices due to a pipeline disruption moving shipments from the Gulf Coast. Colonial Pipeline operators are currently working to repair the pipeline and expect to re-start the movement of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from Texas and Louisiana refineries to a number of Gulf Coast and southeastern states sometime this week. The Colonial Pipeline disruption could contribute to the availability of supply and North and South Carolina may see higher prices until normal shipments resume.
“We want to remind motorists that this issue is temporary and to continue normal habits at the pump,” said AAA Carolinas Public Relations Manager Tiffany Wright. “AAA Carolinas continues to give members peace of mind during this time, and our roadside service will not be affected by this supply issue.”
North Carolina’s average price of gasoline is currently $2.16, up slightly from last week’s average of $2.05. South Carolina motorists are seeing an average price of $2.04, up from last week’s average of $1.91. Despite the recent increases, both of the Carolinas are still seeing gas prices under the national average of $2.20.
Once the supply issue is fixed, motorists will enjoy lower gas prices as we move into the winter-blend of fuel. Pump prices typically decline during this time of year due to lower driving demand after the busy summer driving season has concluded and the changeover from summer-blend to a cheaper-to-produce winter-blend gasoline, which takes place in many parts of the country starting on September 15.
The difference between summer- and winter-blend gasoline involves the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) of the fuel. RVP is a measure of how easily the fuel evaporates at a given temperature. The more volatile a gasoline (higher RVP), the easier it evaporates.
Winter-blend fuel has a higher RVP because the fuel must be able to evaporate at low temperatures for the engine to operate properly, especially when the engine is cold. If the RVP is too low on a frigid day, the vehicle will be hard to start and once started, will run rough.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2 million members and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.