Colonial Pipeline has restarted its Line 4 fuel line from Greensboro, North Carolina, to Woodbine, Maryland, US, which is now under manual control following the ransomware attack on 7 May 2021.
According to Reuters, Line 4 will operate while existing inventory is available. The other three lines are still offline. At time of writing, Colonial Pipeline’s website has been down for several hours, though the cause is not clear.
Gasoline prices are already beginning to rise at pumps in the US, and gasoline futures prices are rising too. Bloomberg reports that some gasoline stations are beginning to run out of fuel. A source told Reuters that Motiva has shut two crude distillation units at its 607,000 bpd Motiva refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, as a result of the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. Total has also reportedly reduced the gasoline output at its Port Arthur refinery.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has confirmed that DarkSide ransomware was used in the attack on Colonial. DarkSide has not explicitly admitted the attack but a short statement released on Twitter on 10 May 2021, entitled ‘About the latest news’, appears to suggest regret. The group says that it is apolitical and does not participate in geopolitics, and should not be tied to a specific government.
‘Our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society. From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt, to avoid social consequences in the future,’ the statement says.
There is still no confirmation about how long it will take for the Colonial Pipeline to be fully operational.