Colonial Pipeline, the operator of the huge American oil pipeline paralyzed by a cyberattack last weekend, restarted its entire system on Thursday evening and resumed the delivery of fuels, but the situation at service stations did not change. still improving that slowly. “We can now say that we have restarted our entire pipeline system and product delivery has started to all of the markets we serve,” the company said in a statement Thursday.
The 8,800 km pipeline system, the largest in the United States for refined products, serves the entire American east coast from refineries on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. President Joe Biden earlier praised the “good news” of the partial restart, urging Americans to be patient as supplies restore over the next few days. While “we won’t feel the effects at the pump immediately,” there will be a “return to normal from this weekend, which will continue into next week,” Joe Biden told reporters at Home- White.
A puzzle for maybe two more weeks
The panic that gripped motorists, causing queues at gas stations and shortages in several cities, was beginning to subside “somewhat”, but the normal supply of gas stations is likely to take “several weeks. “, Estimated for his part Patrick De Haan, analyst of the specialized site GasBuddy. According to Bill O’Grady of Confluence Investment, “the fuels are flowing through the pipeline at a speed of 8 km / h, on an 8,800 km long pipeline, add up! “, He noted, stressing that the delivery rate was not going to resume its normal rate in just” one or two days “.
For the GasBuddy expert, refueling will still “be a headache for seven to fourteen days in the states of Georgia, South and North Carolina, and Virginia.” “I recognize that seeing lines at the pump when there is no gasoline is particularly stressful, but it’s temporary. Don’t store more gasoline than you need. Don’t panic, ”President Biden said again.
Prices that climb
As a result of the incident, the average price of gasoline at the pump climbed above $ 3 per gallon (3.79 liters), increasing by 7 cents, for the first time since 2014, according to the association. AAA automobile. Colonial Pipeline’s cyberattack using ransomware, or “ransomware,” was carried out by criminal group DarkSide, federal police said. According to information from Bloomberg, the company would have paid $ 5 million to hackers, information that contradicts that of the Washington Post, who claims the company did not pay a ransom.
When questioned, a spokesperson for Colonial Pipeline did not comment that there was an ongoing investigation. The Biden administration also refrained from commenting, while stressing that companies need to strengthen their IT security.