Largest Pipeline in The United States Re-Opened By Colonial Pipeline

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Largest Pipeline in The United States Re-Opened By Colonial Pipeline

Thu, 05/13/2021 - 10:58
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Pipeline valve being opened (copyright by Shutterstock/Oil and Gas Photographer)
Pipeline valve being opened (copyright by Shutterstock/Oil and Gas Photographer)

With some 60 percent of gas stations in metro Atlanta out of gasoline and 43 percent in Georgia and South Carolina overall without fuel, Colonial Pipeline began to restart the nation's largest operating pipeline of 8851-km as the Southeast United States began to get out from under.

"Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions," the company said in a statement six days after it shut the line due to the hack. "Colonial Pipeline will move as much gasoline, diesel and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal."

Colonial halted 2.5 million barrels per day of shipments of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel last Friday after the most disruptive cyberattack ever on U.S. energy infrastructure.

Sources familiar with Colonial's response said the company does not plan to pay the ransom demanded by hackers who encrypted data on the pipeline, which stretches 5,500 miles (8,850 km) from U.S. Gulf Coast oil refineries to consumers in Mid-Atlantic and Southeast states.

Investigators in the Colonial case say the attack software was distributed by a gang called DarkSide, which includes Russian speakers and avoids hacking targets in the former Soviet Union. DarkSide previously said that it did not intend to meddle in geopolitics and would be more careful about its affiliates in the future. Right.

Colonial said it was working with cybersecurity experts to investigate the attack and it has taken additional security measures. The breach involved IT systems, and the company said its control center is handling the restart.

The supply crunch sparked panic buying in the U.S. Southeast, bringing long lines and high prices at gas stations ahead of the peak summer driving season.

 

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