Fuel Prices Spike After Cyberattack Forces Pipeline To Shutdown

Tuesday, May 11th 2021, 9:33 am
By: Tess Maune

A cyberattack has put one of the country's largest pipelines on pause and it has already caused gas stations in several states to run out of fuel.

Oklahoma is in a better place than many parts of the country. AAA says the state is listed as one of 10 states with the least expensive gas, but Oklahoma drivers are still seeing higher prices.

News On 6 employees reported seeing a 20 cent jump in gas from Monday into Tuesday. GasBuddy shows the average price in Oklahoma is about 2.70 a gallon, but in Tulsa, Tuesday morning News On 6 saw prices anywhere from $2.59 to nearly $3.09 per gallon.

AAA says the national gas price average jumped six cents to $2.96 in the past week. If it goes up three more cents, the national average would be the most expensive we've seen since November 2014.

AAA says this an effect of Colonial Pipeline being forced to shut down its pipelines last week after Russian Cyber Criminals hacked the company's computer system.

Colonial delivers roughly 45% of the fuel used on the east coast. Drivers there are now facing long lines at the pumps and North Carolina is under a state of emergency, with special regulations to save fuel.

"It was unbelievable. When I was driving today, I thought it was a catastrophe coming! I've seen all these cars waiting and I was like O-M-G I have to fill my tank up, said driver Yasheeka Wiggins.

The longer the company is offline, the larger the impact. Colonial said some of the lines have reopened under manual control and hopes to have the pipeline fully running by the end of the week.

Still, the company and US officials insist there is no significant fuel shortage at this time.