NEW YORK (AP) —
A big delivery of fuel was on its way south to Boston from a Canadian refinery. Ports and terminals remained open in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania, and portions of the Colonial and Buckeye pipelines are expected to re-open on Friday. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners expects to open its three terminals in New Jersey and New York over the next two days after bringing in backup generators.
And the U.S. Coast Guard opened the Port of New York and New Jersey to tankers Thursday.
Logistical problems will remain, though, for days. Barges can now visit terminals up the Hudson River and into Long Island Sound, but many of the major fuel hubs and terminals near the New York and New Jersey ports still can't offload fuel. They need to get electricity back, pump water out of flooded areas, and inspect equipment before starting operations again.
And gas stations won't be able to open up until they have power, either.
That means tanker trucks will have to travel further to deliver fuel to stations, and customers will have to drive further to find open stations.
It does not mean, however, that the region will run out of gasoline. OPIS's Kloza suspects the long lines are partly a result of panic-buying.
"This is not the Arab Oil Embargo again," he said. "There are moments when hysteria is warranted, and moments it's not. Right now, it's not."
Prices shouldn't spike like they did in the 1970s — or even as they did before Hurricane Isaac slammed the Gulf Coast this summer. There may be a short-term increase, but gas prices should resume what has been a 6-week slide. Gasoline demand is very low at this time of year, and there's enough fuel to go around — as soon as it can get around.