US government admits crisis in gasoline supply

US government admits crisis in gasoline supply Biden administration responds after cyberattack on pipeline network Warnings have been iss...

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  • US government admits crisis in gasoline supply
  • Biden administration responds after cyberattack on pipeline network
  • Warnings have been issued

US government admits crisis in gasoline supply and issues warnings. The US government admitted on Tuesday that it is facing a crisis in the supply of gasoline in certain areas after the cyberattack against the largest network of oil pipelines in the country.

Jennifer Granholm, US Secretary of Energy tried to calm fears of a shortage after Colonial, the company that supplies 45% of the fuel consumed on the US East Coast, interrupted its operations after being the target of a cyberattack, indicates Efe.

Gasoline supply crisis after cyberattack

Gasoline Crisis, Cyberattack, Oil Pipelines
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The energy secretary admitted the crisis that is being experienced in some areas due to the supply of gasoline after a cyberattack. The attack was called “ransomware”, a program that blocks access to information in exchange for paying a reward to free it, according to Efe.

Granholm anticipated that for the closing of the markets on Wednesday Colonial will make a decision regarding the restart of pumping along the 8,850 kilometers of pipelines it operates, although in any case he confessed what everyone feared.

Gasoline crisis could last for days

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The secretary admitted that it will be a few days before the network is back in operation, but clarified that there is no shortage of gasoline. “It’s not that we have a gasoline shortage, it’s that we have a supply shortage,” he said at a press conference.

In addition, he predicted at a press conference at the White House that “things will return to normal soon.” However, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm did not say when the crisis would end or when gasoline supplies would be restored.

Biden Administration Issues Warning Against Gas Supply Crisis

Gasoline Crisis, Cyberattack, Oil Pipelines
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Faced with the tense situation, the Joe Biden Administration has asked consumers not to stockpile fuel and sellers not to take advantage of this moment to speculate. “We know we have gasoline, we just have to get it to the right places.”

The head of Energy of the Biden Government explained that the most affected states are North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia. Experts have warned that if the stoppage of activities persists, fuel prices could reach levels not seen since the end of 2014, according to Efe.

They seek to give more supply of gasoline

Gasoline Crisis, Cyberattack, Oil Pipelines
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The Administration of President Joe Biden, which has lifted restrictions on the transportation of fuel by road and other environmental to facilitate the supply, is evaluating measures to expand the distribution of fuels by sea and rail, according to the White House.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) revealed that the average price of gasoline stood at $ 2.98 on Tuesday, compared to $ 2.96 for the national average over the weekend. Also the price of intermediate oil of Texas (WTI), which serves as a reference in the United States, rose 0.55%, to 65.28 dollars, after a session that started with losses although it recovered throughout the day.

Cyber ​​attacks cost millions of dollars

Gasoline Crisis, Cyberattack, Oil Pipelines
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Ghanholm called on gas station owners to act responsibly and warned that they will not tolerate “excessive price increases” for fuel, telling consumers that “there should be no reason to accumulate gasoline.”

Colonial reported on Twitter this Tuesday a temporary interruption of its website unrelated to the attack attributed to the Darkside hacking group. In the same press conference that Granholm, the US Secretary of Homeland Security, revealed the cost of these attacks.

Cyberattacks more “increasingly sophisticated, frequent and aggressive”

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Alejandro Mayorkas, affirmed that the ransomware attacks have left more than 350,000 million dollars in losses in the country this year alone. Mayorkas pointed out that this type of cyber attack is not an imminent threat, but is already here, and clarified that this “is not exclusive to the United States.”

Already in a hearing held by a Senate committee, the director of the United States cybersecurity agency (CISA), Brandon Wales, had warned this Tuesday that cyberattacks such as the one suffered this weekend by the largest network of oil pipelines in the country ” they are increasingly sophisticated, frequent and aggressive ”.

“It is a serious attack”

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The executive director of the conservative think tank Center for a Secure Free Society, Joseph Humire, told Efe that Colonial’s “is a serious attack” against part of the country’s critical infrastructure, which includes, among others, the water supply. , the security or public health services, and has revealed its “weakness” in the face of this type of action.

Marty Edwards, vice president of OT security at Tenable and director of the Industrial Control Systems Cyber ​​Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT), which is part of CIS, according to Efe, pointed out in turn that guaranteeing the digital security of the networks that support this infrastructure “should be a priority.”

Pipeline affected by cyber attack

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A major US pipeline affected by a cyber attack could resume operations later this week, the company announced Monday. Colonial Pipeline offered the update on Monday after revealing that it halted operations due to a ransomware attack that the FBI linked to a criminal gang, the AP says.

The ransomware attack severely impacted the pipeline, which according to the company delivers approximately 45% of the fuel consumed on the east coast of the United States. The event raised concerns for gasoline supplies.

Concern about gasoline and fuel supply crisis

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Concerns spread to the supply of jet fuel and diesel, which could be disrupted in parts of the region if the disruption persists. Colonial Pipeline carries gasoline and other fuels to 10 states between Texas and New Jersey, according to the company.

The company is in the process of restarting parts of its pipeline network. On Sunday it reported that its main pipeline was still inoperative and that some smaller pipelines were working. The company has not said when it will restart the pipeline completely.

Will gasoline prices go up?

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“The length of the outage is approaching critical levels and if it continues, there could be an increase in gasoline and diesel prices on the East Coast,” said Debnil Chowdhury, CEO of IHS Markit, agreed. with AP.

The last time there was a disruption of this magnitude was in 2016, when gasoline prices rose 15 to 20 cents a gallon, the analyst added. But back then the Northeast had significantly greater local refining capacity, which will intensify any impacts.

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