How The Pipeline Closure Could Impact Gas Prices In North Carolina

By Sarah Tate

May 10, 2021

Fallout from a cybersecurity attack on one of the United States' biggest gas pipelines could affect much of the eastern coast of the country, including North Carolina. The Colonial Pipeline Company announced that it would temporarily pause operations to investigate the threat and released the following statement.

"On May 7, the Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack," the statement read. "We have since determined that this incident involves ransomware. In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations and affected some of our IT systems."

The temporary shutdown is expected to impact several states, as the pipeline supplies about 45% of the fuel used along the East Coast. According to WCNC, a shutdown could impact summer travel as the pipeline supplies product for everything from gasoline to jet fuel.

Gas prices have already been on the rise recently as more people have begun traveling again following the decrease in travel last year from the pandemic. The average price of gasoline has risen 6 cents over the last two weeks, and the potential impact from the pipeline's halted operations may cause the prices to increase even more.

Some gas stations are attempting to ease customer concerns, such as QuikTrip, which has said it currently has "adequate supply [of gasoline] for normal demand."

The affects of the pause could start to be felt if the pipeline remains closed for about five days, WCNC reports. However, around noon on Monday (May 10), the company announced that it hopes to resume operations, in some capacity, later in the week.

Photo: Getty Images

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