Colonial Pipeline announced Wednesday evening that it was resuming operations, days after a cyberattack caused shortages as consumers rushed to gasoline stations to fill up.
The company, which operates the nation’s largest gasoline pipeline, said it will resume deliveries and expects its operation to return to normal in a few days.
“Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal. Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal.”
Just before Colonial’s announcement Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tweeted the company’s intentions.
“We just got off the phone with #ColonialPipeline CEO,” Granholm wrote on Twitter. “They are restarting operations (after) 5 p.m. (EDT).”
The cyberattack Friday led to a surge in demand that resulted in long lines at gas stations, while prices jumped anywhere from 2 to 10 cents in one day.
Major metropolitan areas have been hit hardest by the shortages, with more than 70% of the stations in North Carolina out of gasoline in Charlotte, Raleigh and Greenville, as well as roughly 60% of those in Norfolk and Atlanta, according to Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s top oil analyst.
The East Coast reported a 32.5% increase in demand Monday compared to last week, with demand on the Gulf Coast increasing at a 13.1% clip. As of Tuesday night, that demand had left nearly 1,800 stations in the Southeast without gasoline.
According to the AAA motor club, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose 2 cents on Tuesday. Across the states serviced by the pipeline, gas prices jumped Tuesday anywhere from 6 cents in North Carolina to 10 cents a gallon in Georgia.
“We have been very, very close contact with Colonial Pipeline, which is the one area you’re talking about, where that’s one of the reasons that gas prices are going up,” President Joe Biden said during a news conference earlier Wednesday. “And I think you’re gonna hear some good news in the next 24 hours. And I think we’ll be getting that under control.”
Colonial has the ability to ship about 2.5 million barrels a day, Bloomberg reported. The company’s system stretches from Houston to North Carolina, and another 900,000 barrels are shipped daily to New York.
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