PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Gas prices are rising in Peoria this week, putting the average price per gallon at $3.18, and gas experts explain how a cyberattack on a pipeline will affect the price of U.S. gas moving forward.
According to GasBuddy’s weekly survey of 148 stations in Peoria, the price of a gallon went up 10.8 cents over the past week. Gas prices in Peoria are 16.6 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.
The cheapest gas price in the area is priced at $2.98 while the most expensive price is $3.29 per gallon, a difference of 31 cents per gallon.
Comparatively, gas prices across the state average $3.15 per gallon, up 7.4 cents from last week’s price. Champaign’s average price rose to $3.17 per gallon as well, and over in the Quad Cities, the average price rose to $2.96 per gallon.
GasBuddy Petroleum Analysis Head Patrick De Haan said while average gas prices jumped last week as the nation continues to see COVID-19 recovery, all eyes are now on the Colonial Pipeline and a cyberattack that has completely shut down all lines, leading to what could become a major challenge for fuel delivery.
“The situation is growing more intense each day that passes without the pipeline restarting, and motorists are advised to show extreme restraint or exacerbate and prolong the challenges,” De Haan said.
The Colonial Pipeline, which runs from Texas to New York Harbor, announced they were the victim of a cybersecurity attack and shut down the pipeline as a precaution. AAA reports some lateral lines have reopened, but there is no word on when the mainline, including the gasoline line, will be operational.
“This shutdown will have implications on both gasoline supply and prices, but the impact will vary regionally. Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the east coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases, as early as this week,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “These states may see prices increase three to seven cents this week.”
McGee argued while foreign gasoline imports and other pipelines can supplement the Northeastern supply of oil, the longer the pipeline is offline, the larger the impact will be on the east coast.
De Haan expressed the potential for a nightmare situation just as the country enters the summer driving season.
“If the pipeline returns to service in the next day or two, the challenges will be minimal, but if full restart doesn’t happen by then, we’re likely to see a slight rise in gas prices, but more importantly, challenges for motorists needing fuel in Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Virginia, Northern Florida and surrounding areas. I’m hopeful the situation will quickly improve as multiple levels of government are involved, this may become a nightmare should it continue just ahead of the start of the summer driving season,” De Haan said in a blog post.