Thanks to a ransomware attack reportedly linked to a criminal gang, the primary pipeline that delivers fuel to millions of Americans remained offline early Monday.
Colonial Pipeline shut down its 5,500-mile system after the cyberintrusion on Friday. In an updated statement Sunday afternoon, Colonial said its operations team was working to develop a system restart plan. It remains unknown if the company paid any compensation to the hackers, who are said to be from a gang known as DarkSide.
At Gas Buddy, Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick DeHaan said the pipeline shutdown is critical for drivers and stations in the eastern and southeastern U.S. DeHaan told KRLD News those states could quickly see gasoline prices jump by a quarter a gallon or more, with larger hikes possible if the situation drags on.
Interestingly, DeHaan said states that do not receive fuel from the Colonial Pipeline, including Texas, could actually see gas prices fall in the short term. If the pipeline is unable to deliver fuel from refineries along the upper Texas coast and Louisiana, that could back up supplies and lead to an abundance of product from those facilities.
DeHaan said he could not recall another cyberattack of this nature, and added such intrusion are major concerns for U.S. national security. The Biden administration called the situation an "all-hands-on-deck" effort to restore operations with the Colonial Pipeline and avoid further disruptions.
Gas Buddy's DeHaan spoke with KRLD's Chris Sommer Monday morning