Colonial Pipeline, hit by cyber hackers and forced to shut down its operations, says it is still days away from resuming full operations, according to a new report.
The cyberattack 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, Fox News reported. The company has suspended all operations since the attack on Friday.
“As the shutdown nears its sixth day, it is still unclear why it is taking so long for Colonial to return to business as usual after insisting it would try to ‘substantially’ restore operations by the end of the week,” the Daily Mail reported.
The Mail said so far, Colonial has “only managed to restore some services and has given the vague timeline of when things will be back up and running.”
Amid panic buying that has emptied gas stations across the Southeast, the national average gas price jumped to a seven-year high on Wednesday.
“The shutdown of the biggest oil pipeline in the US due to a crippling cyberattack believed to be orchestrated by a Russia-based criminal group pushed Wednesday’s national average price to $3.008 per gallon of gas, according to the Automobile Association of America,” The New York Post reported. “That’s the highest prices have been since November 2014, according to AAA, as closure of the 5,500-mile pipeline, which carries more than 100 million gallons of fuel from Texas to New Jersey each day, stretches into its sixth day.”
Meanwhile, four governors have declared states of emergency.
The White House said President Joe Biden is keeping an eye on the situation.
“The President continues to be regularly briefed on the Colonial Pipeline incident,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday. “The Administration is continually assessing the impact of this ongoing incident on fuel supply for the East Coast. We are monitoring supply shortages in parts of the Southeast and are evaluating every action the Administration can take to mitigate the impact as much as possible.”
“The President has directed agencies across the Federal Government to bring their resources to bear to help alleviate shortages where they may occur,” she said.
Demand for gasoline soared across the country on Monday. “The East Coast reported a 32.5% increase in demand Monday compared to the previous week, followed by the Midwest at 16.2%, the Gulf Coast at 13.1%, the Rocky Mountain region at 6.6% and the West Coast at 8.4%,” Fox News reported.
According to Gasbuddy, which keeps track of prices across the country, North Carolina has been the state hit hardest, with nearly 15% of the state’s fuel stations suffering gasoline outages. On Monday, Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency “suspending motor vehicle fuel regulations to ensure adequate fuel supply supplies throughout the state.”
Florida, Georgia, and Virginia have also declared emergencies.
Florida’s governor, Republican Ron DeSantis said in a Tuesday executive order that “the disruption of Colonial Pipeline operations poses a significant and immediate threat to the continued delivery of such fuel products to the State of Florida.”