The aftereffect of the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline had got American panic buying fuel. Officials have advised citizens to resist the temptation to buy more gasoline than they need.
According to Jennifer Granholm, Energy Secretary, several states are likely to feel the effects of their fuel suppliers in the coming days as a result of the ransomware attack. The operations have remained shut since last Friday, Colonial Pipeline which supplies 45% of East Coast’s transportation fuels normally supplies 100 million gallons of gas from Texas to New York daily.
She made it clear after her talks with the CEO of the firm, the company’s services will commence by the end of the week. She further added there is no shortage of gasoline, while the issue lies with deliveries being held up as a result of the company shutting down some operations after the ransomware incident.
Jennifer Granholm assured me there is enough gasoline, it just needs to be delivered to the right place. This will take some time as a result the next couple of days would be challenging. People need to understand it is not the shortage of gasoline, instead, it is the supply issue that is taking time to get things back to normal. She urged Americans not to panic in the meantime and refrain from hoarding gasoline.
According to Patrick DeHaan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, a tech company that helps users track gas stations’ supplies and prices, the demand for gasoline surged by nearly 40% on Monday compared to the previous week in several states. This included North and South Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida.
US officials have warned about the threat of ransomware from a public safety perspective, as anxiety about fuel supplies spotlights the way a cyber incident can affect Americans’ day-to-day lives.
Let’s hope this is a minor hiccup before things are restored back to normal. Till then markets will likely have to wait for supply to even out as pipeline shipments will take time to arrive at their destinations.