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Fuelling Fears: U.S. pipeline breach prompts gasoline shortage concerns across North America

Atlanta, Georgia — The Colonial Pipeline in the State of Georgia has fallen victim to a cyberattack, prompting fears of gas shortages across North America.

The Georgia-based pipeline shut down its entire network Friday after learning of a cyberattack on its systems. A financial ransom was demanded, though it’s unclear whether the private company paid one.

The company has not released any information regarding the breach in security but expects to restore operation by the end of this week. 

After this attack, Canadians are left wondering if this will affect gas prices at the pumps. 

Canadian gas experts say that prices won’t rise by more than a few cents per litre as of now. However, if the effects of this cyberattack linger much longer Canadians may notice a change. This pipeline carries 2.5 million barrels a day—approximately 45 percent of the East Coast’s supply of diesel, petrol and jet fuel. 

Because of this cyberattack, the Colonial Pipeline isn’t moving products out of refineries.

“If the U.S. refining hub in Texas has to slow operations down due to no takeaway of product, that would be a big hit. Potentially similar to the cold weather outages seen in February,” Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy told Global News. 

Extreme cold weather in the US in February froze natural gas pipelines, which caused the price of petrol to skyrocket. 

In response to this breach the Biden administration has loosened regulations on the transport of petroleum products on highways in hopes to avoid disruptions in fuel supply. 

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