Massive replenishment begins to ease U.S. fuel shortages | Daily Current Affairs 2021

Massive replenishment begins to ease U.S. fuel shortages

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The Colonial Pipeline recently announced that it has returned its systems to “normal operations”.

About:

  • A cyberattack forced the company to shut down last week, leading to gas shortages in the United States.
  • Ships and trucks were deployed to fill up storage tanks after the six-day Colonial Pipeline shutdown, the most disruptive cyberattack on record, triggered widespread panic buying that left filling stations across the U.S. Southeast dry.
  • Colonial was shut on 14th May 2021 after hackers launched a ransomware attack – effectively locking up its computer systems and demanding payment to release them.

2021 US Gas Shortage Highlights:

  • There are 121,000 stores in the US that sell 5,300 gallons of gasoline per day. They accounted to 80% of fuel sales. The demand in these stores increased two to five times.
  • The National average price of One Gallon of Gasoline increased by 3 USD for the first time since 2016.
  • Around 75% of gas stations in Washington DC were without fuel after the cyberattack.
  • More than half of North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia were out of fuel.Several gas stations were lined up with more than five to six trucks.
  • The American Airlines had to change flight schedules due to fuel shortages.
  • The US agencies coordinated to relax the rules to increase the trucks, ships and trains that shipped fuel.
  • However, these changes brought only minimal impacts.
  • President US Biden declared state of emergency to handle the fuel shortages amidst COVID-19 crisis.

DarkSide:

  • The strike on Colonial “is potentially the most substantial and damaging attack on U.S. critical infrastructure ever.
  • The FBI has accused a shadowy criminal gang called DarkSide of the ransomware attack.
  • DarkSide is believed to be based in Russia or Eastern Europe and avoids targeting computers that use languages from former Soviet republics.

Colonial Pipeline:

  • The Colonial Pipeline delivers approximately 100 million gallons of fuel per day and about 36 billion gallons per year to the markets it serves.
  • It delivers 45% of fuel to the East Coast of the US.
  • It runs from the Gulf coast to New York metropolitan region.
  • Only the south east region of the US is more dependent on this line.
  • The rest of the country has different sources.
  • Colonial was forced to shut down operations after a cyberattack crippled its energy infrastructure.

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