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Colonial Pipeline cyberattack: What will impact be on fuel delivery?

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The largest fuel pipeline in the United States has been down since Friday due to a cyberattack, and it’s not clear how long the shutdown will last.

“All eyes are now on the Colonial Pipeline and the fact a cyberattack has completely shut all lines, leading to what could become a major challenge for fuel delivery,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

A Russian criminal group known as Dark Side may be responsible for the attack, NBC News has reported.

“The situation is growing more intense each day that passes without the pipeline restarting, and motorists are advised to show extreme restraint or exacerbate and prolong the challenges,” De Haan said. “If the pipeline returns to service in the next day or two, the challenges will be minimal, but if full restart doesn’t happen by then, we’re likely to see a slight rise in gas prices, but more importantly, challenges for motorists needing fuel in Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Virginia, Northern Florida and surrounding areas.

“I’m hopeful the situation will quickly improve as multiple levels of government are involved, this may become a nightmare should it continue just ahead of the start of the summer driving season. GasBuddy will continue to watch the situation and update as necessary,” De Haan said.

Prices on upswing

Virginia gas prices have risen 2.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.77/gallon today, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 4,081 stations in Virginia.

Gas prices in Virginia are 5.2 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stand $1.07/g higher than a year ago.

The national average price of gasoline has risen 4.5 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.95/g today. The national average is up 10.0 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands $1.12/g higher than a year ago.

Trends

Historical gasoline prices in Virginia and the national average going back ten years:

  • May 10, 2020: $1.71/g (U.S. Average: $1.83/g)
  • May 10, 2019: $2.62/g (U.S. Average: $2.86/g)
  • May 10, 2018: $2.65/g (U.S. Average: $2.86/g)
  • May 10, 2017: $2.16/g (U.S. Average: $2.33/g)
  • May 10, 2016: $2.07/g (U.S. Average: $2.20/g)
  • May 10, 2015: $2.44/g (U.S. Average: $2.66/g)
  • May 10, 2014: $3.47/g (U.S. Average: $3.66/g)
  • May 10, 2013: $3.36/g (U.S. Average: $3.56/g)
  • May 10, 2012: $3.61/g (U.S. Average: $3.73/g)
  • May 10, 2011: $3.87/g (U.S. Average: $3.95/g)

Neighboring areas and their current gas prices:

  • Roanoke- $2.73/g, up 5.5 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.67/g.
  • Richmond- $2.74/g, up 1.5 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.73/g.
  • West Virginia- $2.87/g, up 9.1 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.78/g.

GasBuddy data is accessible at FuelInsights.GasBuddy.com.


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