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    Phoenix Gasoline Shortages Ease

    Gasoline pipeline resumes pumping after rupture bypassed.

    NEW YORK -- Relief is on the way for the gasoline-starved city Phoenix and environs.

    A pipeline that broke, creating gas shortages and fueling frustrations at the pumps for days, was up and running again Sunday. Officials at Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, the company that owns the pipeline, said they began pumping gas through their east pipeline Sunday morning, using a seven-mile bypass to circumvent the rupture point. However, they cautioned it would take a few days before the gas from Tucson reaches Phoenix, the Associated Press reported yesterday.

    While trucked-in fuel, relaxed gas restrictions and less panic pumping have eased or eliminated gas station lines, Phoenix customers can expect the increased flow of fuel to further help.

    The trouble started when the east line, which normally supplies about a third of the Phoenix area's gas, ruptured due to corrosion on July 30. The pipeline, which brings gas in from El Paso, Texas, was opened Aug. 1 but shut down on Aug. 8 after safety concerns surfaced.

    The shortage came to a head last weekend when gas stations began running dry and drivers' patience started running short. At its worst, two-thirds of metro gas stations were empty and some that remained open were selling a gallon of gas for $3.99 and higher, the report said.

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