Colonial Pipeline restarts operations, delay of product expected

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

At 4 p.m. central daylight time on Wednesday, May 12, the Colonial Pipeline restarted its flow according to the company after it was forced to shut down on Friday, May 7 due to a cyberattack.

The company, however, did say it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal.

“Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period,” read a release from Colonial Pipeline. “Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal.”

Colonial also addressed the ransomware attack that forced them to shutdown the pipeline originally, which supplies more than 50 million people from Houston through Birmingham and up the East Coast into New Jersey.

“As we initiate our return to service, our primary focus remains safety,” the company said. “As part of this startup process, Colonial will conduct a comprehensive series of pipeline safety assessments in compliance with all Federal pipeline safety requirements.”

Gas flowing again is the first step in the restart process, and Colonial said it would not have been possible without the around-the-clock support of the companies dedicated employees who worked tirelessly to help us achieve this milestone.

With the pipeline shut down, many flooded to gas stations in an attempt to top off their tank and fill up gas cans worried the stations would run out of gas.

The panic buying, however, was causing more of a problem than the shortage, which experts with AAA and Gov. Kay Ivey were warning against, saying their was plenty of supply unless people were panic buying or the issues lasted more than two weeks.

With the Pipeline operational again, supply should remain normal moving forward.

Colonial will continue to provide updates throughout the restart process.