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Colonial Pipeline announced Wednesday, May 12, that they had initiated pipeline restart and that complete service restoration over their entire pipeline network would take several days. This signals the near-term end to the regional fuel distribution disruption triggered May 7, when a ransomware attack was detected and the corporation shut down their multi-fuel pipeline system. However, there will continue to be gas stations with empty storage tanks for the next several days, perhaps for the next week. And. There is no fuel shortage at the system/regional level. There is a real shortage and there is no shortage. Both are true. I explain.
While unstated, Colonial acted to prevent potential catastrophic sabotage, in the form of massive breaks in the pipeline or damage to pump systems along the pipeline. They had dealt last summer with a gasoline spill in Huntersville, NC. Colonial did exactly the right thing.