The top U.S. fuel pipeline operator said its lines were
fully operational on Monday, but it will take some time for supplies to recover
fully from a cyberattack that left thousands of gas stations without fuel.
Last week's closure
of Colonial Pipeline's 5,500-mile (8,900-km) 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 Gulf Coast. Colonial was fully
operational on Monday and was transporting fuel at normal levels, the company
On Monday, 11,667
gas stations were without fuel, down from a peak last week of more than 15,000
stations, according to tracking firm GasBuddy. Fuel prices spiked across the
southeast, with smaller increases further north.
attack came just ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend at the end of May,
the traditional start of peak-demand summer driving season.
The Southeast bore
the brunt of the outage, as the region is almost entirely without refineries.
Panic buying caused 90% of fuel stations in Washington, D.C., to run out; as of
Monday, that figure had dropped to 69%. Outages in North Carolina fell to about
50%, while outages in South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia were under 50%,
The national gas
price on Monday rose to $3.045 a gallon, the highest since October 2014,
according to data from the American Automobile Association.
will continue to experience tight supply this week as terminals and gas
stations are refueled," said AAA spokesperson Jeanette McGee. "Over
the weekend, gas prices started to stabilize, but are expected to fluctuate in
the lead up to Memorial Day weekend."
North Carolina saw
an average price increase of 20 cents per gallon from the previous week,
according to GasBuddy.
Virginia and Georgia all saw price increases of just under 20 cents per gallon.
Some drivers in the
region canceled trips. Traffic congestion in cities such as Richmond, Virginia;
Atlanta; Greenville, South Carolina, and Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina,
fell last week from the prior week prior, according to Carol Hansen at location
technology company TomTom.
Georgia-based Colonial is currently shipping at normal rates, though it will
take some time for the supply chain to catch up, Colonial spokesman Eric
Abercrombie said in an email over the weekend.
The company began
resuming its regular nomination process on Monday to allocate capacity to
companies that use the line.
DarkSide, the group
blamed for attacking Colonial Pipeline systems, has said it recently hacked
four other companies. A website it used to communicate went dark last week.
Websites tied to two
other ransomware groups not connected to the Colonial hack also were
unreachable in a likely retreat amid the hunt for perpetrators, Allan Liska, a
researcher with cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, said on Sunday.
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