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Got gas? Indigestion for cars may last four or five more days, expert says

Sept. 21. By Dave Yochum. Look for Charlotte-area gas supplies to get back to normal in four or five days, says one of the leading oil industry analysts in the United States.

Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Oil Price Information Service, said the Colonial Pipeline, despite repairs that are expected to be completed tonight, won’t be delivering a full flow of product locally for another four or five days.

OPIS is an oil industry bible with offices in Houston, Paris, Singapore and New Jersey, where the Colonial Pipeline ends.

“It wouldn’t surprise me to see hundreds of stations…without gas…in the Carolinas for the next five days,” Kloza said.

In Cornelius, buying regular gasoline is a hit-or-miss thing.

At the Cashion’s on Highway 21 just south of Catawba Avenue, all pumps were flowing at around 1 pm. Regular was priced at $2.29 a gallon.

The price for regular gasoline was up 10 cents overnight, however. A Cashion’s spokesman yesterday said they were bringing in a load of gasoline from the coast, where petroleum products can arrive via water.

At the Circle K on West Catawba at One Norman, regular gas was available at $2.19.

At the Exxon on West Catawba just west of Magnolia Estates, regular gas was $2.19—but there wasn’t any to be had at 1 pm. There was only premium fuel available at the downtown Cornelius Cashion’s, at $2.79 a gallon. The situation, of course, can change with deliveries of fuel at any one of these stations.

Regular was available and priced at $2.29 per gallon at the Citgo just east of Exit 28, and $2.29 a gallon at the Cashion’s on Sam Furr Road at the western end of Catawba. T

That’s where Joel Jaffe, who just moved here from New York, was filling up his tank. “This is better than New York where it’s $2.75 a gallon,” he said.

“It will be pretty hairy, touch and go,” Kloza said, explaining that Georgia was hit hardest at first, but now it’s North Carolina’s and South Carolina’s turn. “Georgia can get product from Tampa and Savannah,” said Kloza, a well-known expert in the petroleum industry. He is quoted in national media on a frequent basis.

Charlotte will truly get back to normal in October, he said. Supplies will normalize first, then prices.

“Some stations will be out of product here and there…but everybody will be able to get gas in a few days. Prices are up to about what they are going to go to,” he said.

Over the longer term, crude prices will remain soft, with product widely available in 2017, Kloza said. “It will take a little while to go back to normal…normal has seen too much gasoline in the inventory system.”