By Stephanie Kelly
(Reuters) – Following a six-day outage, America’s main pipeline began moving some of the first million gallons of motor fuel on Thursday, after a cyberattack caused fuel shortages in coastal states. East.
The Colonial Pipeline, which carries 100 million gallons a day of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, resumed computer-controlled pumping Wednesday night after adding safety measures. Shipments will take several days to fully recover and disruptions are possible, the company said.
The shutdown led to gasoline shortages and emergency declarations from Virginia to Florida, forced two refineries to halt production and caused airlines to reorganize some refueling operations.
The restart of the pipeline should bring supplies to some worst-hit areas on Thursday, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said. As he predicted, the gasoline shortage could end in a couple of days.
“Relief is coming,” added Jeanette McGee, a spokeswoman for the AAA auto travel group.
The national average price of gasoline rose above $ 3 a gallon, the highest since October 2014, the American Automobile Association said, and prices in some areas jumped as much as 11 cents in one day.
As FBI cyber experts investigated an attack that crippled much of America’s energy infrastructure, the group believed to be responsible said it was publishing data on breakthroughs at three other companies, including an Illinois tech firm.
How much money the hackers were looking for is unknown and the pipeline operator declined to comment on this point. Colonial has a type of insurance that generally covers ransom payments, three people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
(Edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)