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Gasoline price pinch could get worse before gets better

A driver returns the gas nozzle after filling his van at a station in Raleigh, N.C.
Jim Bounds | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gasoline prices, spiking 20 cents or more this weekend in some southeastern states, could continue rising even after the outage of a major gasoline pipeline artery is over.

Colonial Pipeline is working to build a bypass for its gasoline pipeline, which went down Sept. 9 after a leak was discovered in Alabama. The pipeline runs from Texas, across the South and then north to New Jersey.

"This has not crested yet," said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Oil Price Information Service. The most impacted states are North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia, where the average price of unleaded rose 18 cents per gallon over the weekend. In South Carolina, prices jumped 11 cents to $2.04 per gallon between Friday and Monday, according to AAA data.

"There's a huge difference if you get that bypass line going tomorrow or if it stretches into next week," said Kloza. Colonial's gasoline pipeline, Line 1, handles 1.4 million barrels of gasoline per day. "Everyday you're talking about, is a lot of gasoline that's not being shipped up to the Northeast."