By DAN STRUMPF
NEW YORK -- Fuel was flowing again at more gas stations in the
Northeast on Monday, as the lights came back on at additional
stations. But power outages along the supply chain continue to
idle many pumps.
About half of gas stations in New York City were up and
running Monday, while between 40% and 45% of Long Island
stations had resumed sales, according to data from auto club
The number of operational stations inched higher in both states
over the weekend as electricity began to be restored.
However, New Jersey faced the biggest problem, said Avery
Ash, AAA's manager of regulatory affairs. The number of
operational stations there was relatively unchanged Monday at
between 45% to 50% compared with Friday, as power problems
persisted, Mr. Ash said.
"The situation is beginning to get a little better," he
said. "Obviously not as quickly as we and motorists would like.
The underlying issue here is still an issue of outages, not
New Jersey remains the worst-off state in the wake of Sandy,
which made landfall in the state last Monday and knocked out
power to millions of utility customers throughout the region.
About 780,000, or 20%, of utility customers in New Jersey were
without power Monday morning, according to the Department of
Energy. In New York state, 6% were without power.
The power outages have been particularly troublesome,
experts say, because of their impact across the supply chain,
from the gas stations to the fuel pipelines to the depots that
supply fuel trucks.
Eric DeGesero, executive vice president of the Fuel
Merchants Association of New Jersey, said a key bottleneck
remains the closure of some major fuel terminals - a problem
that means that the remaining terminals that are open face
greater demand than normal.
As a result, truck drivers frequently have to visit multiple
terminals in a day to find gasoline and might only be able to
deliver one shipment a day instead of the normal three-to-six
Gasoline demand remains robust throughout the state, in part
because of extra fuel needed to keep generators going. But he
said the problems appear to be improving.
"Starting yesterday and at least into today, things do not
appear to be getting worse," Mr. DeGesero said. "It's not good,
but it doesn't appear to be getting worse.
Gene Guilford, president of the Independent Connecticut
Petroleum Association, said gas stations in the state have seen
an influx of motorists from New Jersey and New York, who are
crossing state lines in search of stations with power and
"Really it has to do with the power outages," he said. "I
don't really characterize this as a gasoline-supply problem as
much as it is a gasoline-distribution problem."
Some key chokepoints in the supply chain have returned to
normal. A key line run by Colonial Pipeline Co. supplying
700,000 bpd to New Jersey was back to running normally Monday,
Colonial spokesman Steve Baker said. But smaller lines that
connect terminals are not fully back online due to electricity
The pipeline is delivering to customers who are "ready to
receive from us," he said. But all of the pipeline's customers
won't be back on for weeks or even months.
Dow Jones Newswires