Gasoline scarcity hits several regions in the United States after a ransomware attack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline system, resulting to panic buying among American drivers.
ALEDEH News had reported that cyberattack forced the largest US fuel pipeline, which spans more than 5,500 miles and transports about 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast, to shut down on Friday. The pipeline transports 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and home heating oil.
In just five States served by Colonial Pipeline — Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia — demand was up by a collective 40.1%, according to GasBuddy, an app that tracks fuel prices and demand.
GasBuddy reporter that as of 9 pm ET Tuesday, 12.3% of gas stations in North Carolina and 8.6% in Virginia didn’t have gasoline.
The Virginia figure was up from 7.7% at 4p ET, while North Carolina was up from 8.5% previously. Rising outages are also being reported at gas stations in Georgia (8.0%), Florida (3.0%) and South Carolina (5.9%).
The national price at the pump ticked up to $2.985 on Tuesday, the highest level in nearly six years, according to AAA.
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy lamented that “panicked buying” is “running stations in the region dry,” and warned that the “irrational behavior” could prolong supply issues “for weeks.”
Tiffany Wright of AAA Carolinas criticized what she described as “irresponsible behavior at the pump.”
“People are taking their entire family fleet of vehicles to the gas station and filing up when they don’t need to. We are our own worst enemy in this situation because we are over-consuming at the pump,” she added.