A police officer is guarding the gate to the Colonial Pipeline Co. Pelham and Reservoir Farms in Pelham, Alabama, USA, on Monday, September 19, 2016.
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Top U.S. pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline shut down the entire network after a cyber attack, the company said in a statement Friday.
The colonial network supplies fuel to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast populated in the eastern and southern parts of the United States. The company transports 2.5 million barrels of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined products daily through 8,850 km of pipelines.
Colonial Pipeline says it transports 45% of its fuel supply to the East Coast.
The company learned of the attack on Friday and shut down systems to contain the threat, the statement said. The action temporarily halted operation and affected some of his IT systems, it said.
The company hired an independent cybersecurity firm to launch the investigation, and Colonial contacted law enforcement and other federal agencies.
Colonial did not give further details or say how long its pipelines will be closed.
Reuters reported earlier Friday that Colonial has closed its main lines for gasoline and distillate.
During the trading session on Friday, cash prices in the Gulf of Mexico for gasoline and diesel fell.
Both futures for gasoline and diesel on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose more than raw prices during the day. Gasoline futures rose 0.6% to $ 2.1269 a gallon, while diesel futures rose 1.1% to settle at $ 2.0106 a gallon.
Long-term price effects will depend on the closing time of the lines. If the barrels fail to reach the line, the prices of the Gulf Coast could further weaken, while the prices in the New York port could increase, said one market participant.
The Colonial significantly closed its gasoline and distillation lines during Hurricane Harvey, which hit the Gulf Coast in 2017.
During that time, spot gasoline prices in the Gulf rose to a five-year high, while diesel prices rose to about a four-year high.