Monday, August 15, 2022

How long will fueling return to normal? State officials hope by the end of the week

The green segments on this map are operational, meaning product delivery has commenced. Blue lines will be operational later today, according to the Colonial Pipeline Company. (WYDaily/Courtesy of the Colonial Pipeline Company)

STATEWIDE — After a cybersecurity attack on the Colonial Pipeline shut down operations, fuel had to find another way to the 14 states Colonial Pipeline fuels.

RELATED STORY: The Colonial Pipeline is offline. What does it mean for Virginia?

Colonial Pipeline announced Wednesday evening that it was restarting pipeline operations at 6 p.m. However, the restart would not be instantaneous, and will require several days for fuel to travel up the pipeline to some locations. 

In a Thursday afternoon tele-press conference, state officials from several state agencies said that they are optimistic that the Commonwealth will return to a sense of normalcy by the end of the week. 

“The restart happened safely, it was ahead of schedule, and fuel is coming to Richmond,” said Scott Marshall, pipeline safety program manager at the Virginia State Corporation Commission. 

On Tuesday, Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in response to the pipeline closure. This action was not to spark panic but to allow state agencies to waive any state requirement or regulation in order to transport fuel across state lines.  

The state of emergency declaration is set to last a month, unless it is extended or canceled. 

Fortunately, the Colonial Pipeline is not the only source of fuel in Virginia. There is also the Plantation Pipeline, Kinder Morgan, and the intrastate pipeline NuStar, which only provides jet fuel.

So what caused the gas stations to run dry?

An increased amount of people buying up more fuel in an incremented amount of time, i.e. panic buying. 

However, Colonial Pipeline announced today that it predicts that each market in their service area will be receiving product as early as today.

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