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17 May, 2021 12:54

US fuel crisis eases after cyberattack, but many petrol pumps remain dry

US fuel crisis eases after cyberattack, but many petrol pumps remain dry

The gasoline shortage crisis on the US East Coast is slowly abating, according to industry data. The modest recovery comes as the country’s largest fuel pipeline was brought back to normal operations after a cyberattack.

Even though outages slightly eased in many states, data from tracking firm GasBuddy showed that the amount of empty fueling stations in Washington, DC was still high, at 83%. At least a third of gas stations were without fuel in Maryland, Virginia and Georgia. 

Overall, some 12,870 stations across the country were experiencing outages as of Sunday, down from 13,450 on Saturday and a peak of more than 16,000, said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

The six-day shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline network, the biggest fuel-carrying infrastructure facility in the United States, which supplies almost half of the gasoline and diesel that the East Coast consumes, was prompted by a ransomware cyberattack.

Also on rt.com Oil pipeline cyberattack exposes America’s multi-trillion dollar infrastructure security crisis

The attack forced the Colonial Pipeline Company, the pipeline’s operator, to halt supplies to the entire network for nearly a week, which sent fuel prices to their highest level in years. 

Colonial said on Saturday it had returned the system to normal operations. The same day US gasoline demand dropped nearly 15% from a week earlier as drivers reduced panic hoarding.

“Colonial Pipeline is currently shipping at normal rates, based on shipper nominations,” company spokesman Eric Abercrombie told Reuters, adding that “It will take some time for the supply chain to fully catch up.”

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