Cyberattack fails to spike world oil prices

Cyberattack fails to spike world oil prices

While Ireland recovers from a horrific cyber-attack on its health services, another cyber-attack didn’t quite get the same media attention. The US biggest pipeline fell victim to a recent cyber-attack, just weeks after the Suez Canal – the route for 12% of the world’s petrol – was blocked by the Ever Given cargo ship.

The resilience of oil logistics was put to the test again when the Colonial Pipeline was knocked offline by a cyber criminal gang on May 7th, using software designed by hacking group Dark Side. Eight US states reported shortages and panic buying.

The pipeline carried 253m barrels of fuel per day and 45% of the US East Coast diesel, gas and jet fuel. Emergency legislation was passed to allow fuel transport by road.

The cyber-attack saw America’s WTI oil futures spike to $65.50. The cyber attack highlighted the link between prices and supply.

Limited impact was felt in the European diesel market, according to S&P Global Platts. Market structure appeared to be largely unresponsive to the outage – but a stark reminder of the need for water tight cyber security – just as Ireland’s health services learned this week.