Kansas fuel prices not impacted by Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, experts say

Published: May. 12, 2021 at 4:29 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Prices at the pump are closer to $3 per gallon and some stations are not selling certain products because they did not receive their shipments. Many think this is because of the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, which has contributed to the issue in the eastern U.S. But in Kansas, Eyewitness News spoke with a few experts in the field who say that is not affecting us here.

Those experts say we use the Magellan Pipeline in the Midwest, so what is happening in the east will not affect us unless it continues to be an issue, which they say, should be resolved soon. What the experts did say is that a lack of deliver drivers and an increase in travel are reasons the prices may be going up in Kansas.

“We are being impacted by a driver shortage,” said Fuel True Executive Director Tom Palace. “You may have heard in the news; this is not something new. We’ve had driver shortages for the past six years.”

Adams Brown Principal Oil and Gus Industry Leader Nicole Koelsch said there is no reason for Kansans to panic as in the Sunflower State, there is no gas supply shortage.

“The supply shortage caused by the Colonial Pipeline really only impacts the southeastern states,” she said.

The rise in prices AAA (Triple-A) says, could be due to the driver shortage and increase in people traveling.

“Overall, as the economy has opened up, as more people have been vaccinated recently, more people are out driving, therefore, using more gasoline,” said AAA spokesperson Shawn Steward. “So, the demand for gas is up and that’s contributing to the higher prices we’ve seen.”

Each expert says there is no need to “panic buy” gasoline in Kansas, as again, in our state, there is currently not a shortage.

“We have plenty of inventory, if people will just be patent,” Palace said. “Yes, there is a major issue going on right now in the U.S. Will it impact us? If it goes past the end of this week, then I would say yes, we may have an issue. But the only issue we would have is us hauling fuel to the people who need it.”

Wednesday afternoon, Colonial restarted its pipeline operations.

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