Colonial Pipeline hit by brief grid outage amid efforts to strengthen the system
Colonial Pipeline (COLPI.UL) said its planning system was back online on Tuesday after a grid outage earlier in the day prevented customers from planning upcoming shipments on America’s largest fuel pipeline .
The disruption was caused by the company’s efforts to harden its system as it restored service after a week-long outage due to a cyber attack, Colonial said, and was not the result of reinfection of its network. [nFWN2N50UY]
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.
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 uses its shipper nomination system to schedule fuel delivery batches to bring flows back to normal.
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 did not say whether its systems for other pipelines were affected.
Although Colonial’s planning network is back online, it is still growing slowly, a market source said.
As of Tuesday, more than 10,400 gas stations were still without fuel, according to tracking company GasBuddy, up from more than 16,000 at last week’s peak.
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%.
Just under 70% of gas stations in Washington, DC, were still without fuel, up from 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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