Brent rose 57 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $ 68.85 a barrel at 6:45 a.m. GMT, after rising 1.5 percent last week. US West Texas Intermediate futures were up 51 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $ 65.41 a barrel, after gaining more than 2 percent last week.
Signifying the gravity of the situation, the White House was working closely with Colonial Pipeline to help it recover from the ransomware attack, which forced America’s largest fuel pipeline operator to shut down a network feeding the Eastern populated states.
“The main advantage is that the bad guys are very adept at finding new ways to break into infrastructure,” Andrew Lipow, chairman of Lipow Oil Associates, told Reuters. “The infrastructure has not developed defenses that can compensate for all the different ways malware can infect its system.”
The Colonial System is the source of nearly half of the fuel supply for the east coast of the United States, carrying 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline and other fuels, and the company has had to shutting down all of its pipelines after Friday’s cyberattack, which involved ransomware.
Gasoline prices in the United States jumped nearly 2 percent on Monday, while fuel oil rose more than 1 percent.
It is not known who carried out the attack, but sources told Reuters the hackers were likely a professional cybercriminal group.
Colonial said on Sunday that its main fuel lines remain offline, but some smaller lines between terminals and delivery points are now operational. He did not say when the network could return to full operational capacity.
An extended shutdown of the line, described by an analyst as the “chinstrap of infrastructure” in the United States, would spike retail prices at gas pumps ahead of peak summer driving season, a potential blow to consumers Americans and the economy.
“We expect the pipeline to restart in a few days, and therefore have a limited impact on refineries in Louisiana and East Texas which will have to shut down,” said Virendra Chauhan, Energy Aspects analyst, also noting that US fuel stocks are “comfortable”.
The attack prompted U.S. lawmakers to strengthen protections for critical U.S. energy infrastructure against hacking attacks.
The Energy Department said it was monitoring potential impacts on the country’s energy supply, while the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Transportation Security Administration told Reuters they were working on the situation.
Goldman Sachs has said it expects demand for oil to reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year and has predicted Brent to hit $ 80 a barrel and WTI $ 77 a barrel. ‘six months from now.
“We see the global oil market deficit, currently around 1 MB / D, widen significantly from here,” Goldman analysts said in a note.
“We still expect the demand for oil to reach 100 MB / d by the end of this year,” they said.