East Coast Gas Supplies Could Take Two Weeks To Return To Normal, Experts Say
WASHINGTON, USA - MAY 12: A sign reads "No Fuel" is seen after ransomware cyberattack causes Colonial Pipeline to shut down, resulting in shortages in Washington D.C, United States on May 12, 2021. (Photo by
Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Colonial Pipeline’s operations have resumed, at least in part, but it will take more than two weeks for gasoline in Houston to reach many sites on the East Coast.

“Transit times for gasoline to pass through Colonial’s network of pipelines that allow oil products to flow from the U.S. Gulf Coast, up to its North Carolina hub, and then on to New York Harbor, is 14 days and 16 hours, at a speed of about 5 miles per hour, according to the most recent schedule sent to shippers,” Bloomberg News reported. “Diesel and jet fuel, heavier and more dense products, need about 19 days to make the same trip that spans about 1,600 miles through the busiest pipeline system in America.”

Colonial on Friday was hit with a cyberattack that forced the closure of the 5,500-mile pipeline, which moves more than 100 million gallons of fuel from Texas to New Jersey every day — nearly 50% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast. The company suspended all operations since the attack, but on Thursday issued a statement saying operations have resumed.

The company said it “has made substantial progress in safely restarting our pipeline system and can report that product delivery has commenced in a majority of the markets we service.”

GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan said he expects shortages to get worse over the next two days, writing on Twitter: “While the Colonial Pipeline is restarting, the outage numbers may drift higher over the next 48 hours before then beginning to fall.”

De Haan, though, had a shorter timeline than Bloomberg. “About 7-14 days of headaches if you need fuel in GA, NC, SC, or VA. The situation will definitely take time and slowly improve due to a high number of outages and higher number of stations to refuel,” he tweeted.

De Haan also posted a look at which states are hardest hit, with North Carolina and Virginia atop the list.

But Colonial was more optimistic. “Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal,” Colonial Pipeline said in a statement. “Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period.”

“Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal,” the statement added.

The White House on Wednesday said there is an “end in sight” to the crisis but urged Americans not to panic buy. “President Biden and the White House will monitor the situation closely in the coming days, and continue to urge Americans to just purchase what they need, and not hoard fuel, as supply is restored,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

She also said “as Colonial Pipeline works to safely and fully resume operations over the next few days, we will stay in close contact with the company and will continue to offer any assistance needed—as we have done since the outset of this shutdown on Friday.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  East Coast Gas Supplies Could Take Two Weeks To Return To Normal, Experts Say