Colonial Pipeline hit by network outage just days after hack stopped
Colonial pipeline [RIC:RIC:COLPI.UL] has network issues preventing shippers from scheduling upcoming fuel shipments, the company said on Tuesday, just after the system reopened after a week-long ransomware attack.
Last week’s shutdown of the 8,900 km (5,500 mile) system was the most disruptive cyberattack on record, preventing millions of barrels of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from flowing to the east coast from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Colonial uses its shipper nomination system to schedule fuel delivery batches to bring flows back to normal. A prolonged grid outage could prevent shippers from scheduling deliveries – hampering fuel delivery to the southeast and eastern coasts of the United States immediately after the line reopens.
It was not immediately clear why the system was down or when it would be fixed. Colonial did not say when the issue would be resolved.
After the ransomware attack forced Colonial to shut down its entire network, thousands of gas stations across the Southeastern United States ran out of fuel. Motorists fearing prolonged shortages have rushed to refuel their cars.
Colonial’s marine nomination system is operated by a third party, a private company Transport4, or T4, which handles similar logistics for other pipeline companies. T4 could not say when the issue would be fixed and did not say if its systems for other pipelines were affected.
As of Tuesday, more than 10,600 gas stations were still without fuel, according to tracking company GasBuddy, up from more than 16,000 at last week’s peak.
Despite the nomination issues, market sources familiar with the matter said the barrels currently in the line continue to flow.
In North Carolina, one of the hardest-hit states, gas outages fell below 50% on Tuesday, GasBuddy said. South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia all also experienced outages below 50%.
About 70% of gas stations in Washington, DC, were still without fuel, compared to about 90% on weekends.
“The number of gas-free stations is expected to drop below 10,000 today,” GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan said on Tuesday.
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