Colonial Pipeline Again Experiencing Network Issues

Colonial Pipeline, the nation's largest fuel pipeline, on Friday said it was experiencing network issues, just weeks after a ransomware attack crippled fuel delivery for several days in the United States.

Communication from Colonial's systems to a third-party scheduling system may be affected, Colonial said. It added that their internal IT department was aware of the issue and working to resolve as quickly as possible.

The reason for the network issues was not immediately clear. Colonial did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It is unclear how widespread Friday's issues are, as the line said shippers were having problems entering and updating nominations for deliveries.

Colonial's shipping nomination system is operated by a third party, privately-held Transport4, or T4, which handles similar logistics for other pipeline companies.

T4 on Friday said its application is working for all customers and carriers. It did not comment on Colonial's current network issue and said that data between T4 and Colonial was transacting normally.

Friday's network problems are the second occurrence of such issues since the attack earlier in the month. Colonial is the largest fuel system in the United States, accounting for millions of barrels of daily deliveries to the U.S. East Coast and Southeast.

Shortly after Colonial restored operations from the hack, it suffered a brief network outage that prevented customers from planning upcoming shipments on the line. At the time, Colonial said the disruption was caused by efforts by the company to harden its system, and was not the result of a reinfection of its network.

The southeast United States is still recovering from the six-day line outage from earlier this month and the supply issues it caused in the region. Around 6,000 gas stations were still without fuel this week, according to tracking firm GasBuddy, down from a peak of more than 16,000.

Almost 40% of gas stations in Washington, D.C., the nation's capital, were without supplies on Thursday, GasBuddy said. More than 20% of stations in North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina were also empty.

The hack also boosted gasoline prices earlier than expected this year. Heading into Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer driving season, U.S. motorists are seeing the highest gasoline prices in seven years.

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