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From ground to gas tank: How gasoline gets to Florida drivers

Because Florida doesn't have oil refinery, drivers typically pay more
Drivers wait as truck fills empty gas tanks at Marathon gas station in Hollywood in 2016
Posted at 11:31 AM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 13:38:58-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline might be troubling for Florida drivers concerned about gas prices and supply, but the impact on the Sunshine State is relatively minimal.

Gasoline comes from oil, which is pumped from an oil field.

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Refineries then turn it into products like gas, diesel fuel and heating oil.

Florida doesn't have an oil refinery, which means drivers typically pay more to get gas to the state.

Colonial Pipeline map
The Colonial Pipeline brings fuel from the Gulf Coast up through the Middle Atlantic states but does not go through Florida.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said most of it comes from the Gulf Coast, along with refineries in the Caribbean.

Almost all of it arrives via ships and barges at major Florida ports in Tampa, Jacksonville, Port Everglades and Port Canaveral. The Port of Palm Beach is also a destination, though to a much lesser degree.

container ship and oil tanker wait to enter Port Everglades in 2013
In this June 28, 2013, file photo, the container ship Baghira, foreground, and the oil tanker Seabulk Arctic, rear, are anchored off shore as they wait to enter Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The gas is then held in storage tanks at the ports until tanker trucks deliver it to gas stations throughout the state.