Daily US Times: The United States government issued emergency legislation on Sunday after the largest fuel pipeline in the country was hit by a ransomware cyber-attack.
The Colonial Pipeline carries 2.5 million barrels of fuel a day – 45% of the US East Coast’s supply of diesel, gasoline and jet fuel.
On Friday, the pipeline was completely knocked offline by a cyber-criminal gang and is still working to restore service.
The emergency legislation allowed fuel to be transported by road.
A total of 18 states have been granted a temporary hours of service waiver for transporting jet fuel, gasoline, diesel and other refined petroleum products.
They are Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Fuel prices are likely to rise 2-3% on Monday, experts say, but the impact will be far worse if it goes on for much longer.
Gaurav Sharma, an Independent oil market analyst, said that there is a lot of fuel now stranded at refineries in Texas.
Mr Sharma said: “Unless they sort it out by Tuesday, they’re in big trouble. The first areas to be impacted would be Atlanta and Tennessee, then the domino effect goes up to New York.”
He said oil futures traders were now “scrambling” to meet the demand, at a time when United States inventories are declining, and demand – especially for vehicular fuels – is on the rise as consumers return to the roads and the nation’s economy attempts to shake off the effects of the pandemic.
Department of Transportation issued the temporary waiver, which enables oil products to be shipped in tankers up to New York, but this would not be anywhere near enough to match the pipeline’s capacity, Mr Sharma warned.