East Coast Fuel Supply Cut Off By Ransomware Hackers
EAST COAST - The fuel supply to most of the east coast has been cut off for three consecutive days in a row after a hacker group knocked out a major pipeline, causing gas futures on the stock market to surge by over 4%, and fuel suppliers to become nervous about gasoline shortages across the eastern United States.
Colonial pipeline, which was affected by the hack stated that it's in the middle of creating a plan for getting the largest gasoline pipeline in the United States up and running again, but not until it is 'safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations."
The pipeline shut down couldn't have come at a worse time, as the demand for fuel is about to increase dramatically due to an increase in American's traveling for summer vacations. This is especially true as most American's who have been cooped up during corona restrictions will be wanting to get out and travel for summer now that restrictions are being largely lifted across the U.S.
It is currently unclear when the pipeline will be operational again and American's, especially those located in the eastern part of the United States may see a large increase in gasoline prices. The severity however largely depends on how long the pipeline remains inoperable.
Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at ING Groep Nevada stated "The longer it lasts, the more bullish it will be for refined products on the East Coast. This will likely also drag European product prices higher, as we see more waterborne cargoes needing to go into the U.S. East Coast to meet the shortfall".
ClearView Energy Partners stated the following in a research note, "The Colonial outage comes at a critical juncture for the recovering U.S. economy: the start of the summer driving season. We therefore think lawmakers could begin a 'blame game' immediately, and a sustained disruption that leads to a significant pump price spike could increase prospects of domestic policy interventions".