Last Friday, the largest pipeline service in the United States had to shut down its pipelines following a cyber-attack. The Colonial Pipeline Company is still investigating the matter with support from a third-party cyber-security firm.
Even the federal authorities such as the FBI are looking into the matter and trying to find the underlying cause of this. In the meanwhile, the Colonial Pipeline Company has shut down its pipelines, thus, ceasing gas supply to large areas in the United States.
Amidst all the chaos, the analysts are predicting the worst-case scenario that the United States citizens may end up facing. The analysts are speculating that the disruption caused due to shutting down of the pipelines may end up increasing the gas prices.
The analysts fear the longer the pipelines are kept shut down due to the cyber-attack, the more disruption comes into play. This would eventually result in creating huge spikes in the prices of gas supplies to large areas.
According to the analysts, the pipeline system of the Colonial Pipeline Company is spread across more than 5,500 miles. Furthermore, the East Coast receives more than 45% of its gas supply for consumption from the Colonial Pipeline System.
The stats show that the Colonial Pipeline Company is responsible for transporting 2.5 million barrels of home heating oil, jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline per day.
The Colonial Pipeline System has defended its stance for shutting down the pipeline system. According to the company, it had been a victim of a cyber-attack and the hackers had demanded a ransom. Therefore, the company had to do whatever was needed in order to stop the hack from taking place anymore.
After the initial announcement on Saturday, May 8, about the hack, the Colonial Pipelines System published the last briefing on Sunday, May 9, 2021.
During the briefing, the Colonial Pipeline System revealed that four of its main pipelines still remain offline. However, the company has started some of the smaller pipelines that are located between the delivery and terminal points.
One of the smaller pipelines that the Colonial Pipeline System has re-instated includes the owner of the Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) pipeline.
The Colonial Pipeline System has confirmed that they are still working with the authorities to ensure if there are still any risks involved. Once they receive the go from the cyber-security teams and the federal authorities, they will re-launch the main pipelines.
The company has clarified that it will not be re-instating the pipelines to the full capacity/potential until it is confident that there are no further risks or threats.
Tom Kloza, the head of Oil Price Information Service has announced that almost 140,000 petrol stations are on the verge of gas running out in the storages.