Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to restart the pipeline?

We have safely initiated the restart of the Colonial Pipeline system, which means that all lines, including those lateral lines that have been running manually, will return to normal operations and controlled by our centralized control center.

When will product begin to flow into the market?

Although we have initiated the restart of our pipeline system, it will take several days for the fuel delivery supply chain to return to normal. As such, some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions. Colonial Pipeline will move as much gasoline, diesel and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal.

Will markets experiencing shortages get product first?

Colonial Pipeline is coordinating with shippers to meet market demand, especially in areas that are experiencing shortages. While it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal, restarting our pipeline is the first and most critical step in the process to provide product with the communities that need it most.

How much product will Colonial move into the market following restart?

Our system can transport 2.5 million barrels (100 million gallons) per day. As barrels enter our system and our lines pressure up, we will begin to push product out of the system at delivery points.

Is the pipeline secure now?

We have put additional security measures in place to protect our pipeline and would not have initiated restart of our pipeline system if we did not believe it was safe to do so.

What steps did you take to ensure the security of the pipeline before turning it back on? How can you be sure it’s safe to restart the pipeline?

First and foremost, taking our system offline quickly upon detecting the threat was a critical first step in positioning us for an efficient restoration process. Since then, the Colonial Pipeline team and third-party experts have worked tirelessly to conduct hazard assessments, manually monitor the status of our pipeline, and analyze our digital environment to ensure that our pipeline restart plan prioritizes safety and compliance for our employees, our customers, and our communities.

We have a very clear and defined restart plan that meets or exceeds the federal pipeline safety regulations that dictate pipeline start up procedures. We will follow these safety procedures.

What are your next steps, and what are you doing to make sure this will not happen again?

Colonial Pipeline is working with third-party cybersecurity experts to conduct a thorough investigation into the nature and scope of this incident. While our priority at this time remains the safe and efficient restoration of our pipeline services, Colonial Pipeline is dedicated to continuing to build upon our existing cybersecurity protocols to enhance the security of our systems.

What is Colonial’s approach to IT/cybersecurity?

Colonial Pipeline takes its role in United States infrastructure very seriously. We are constantly assessing and improving our security practices – both physical and digital – working with our partners in the federal government and private sector to protect our operations, data, and our communities from risk.

In 2017, we appointed a new Chief Information Officer (CIO), and Colonial Pipeline by design has structured its information security and information technology (IT) program so there is direct line of sight and alignment between the Board, the CEO, and the Executive team. Colonial Pipeline deliberately chose to organize the security function around a Director of Security and Information Governance, who reports directly to the CIO.

Over the past four years, we have worked to complete multiple, separate, and independent baseline security assessments. Since receiving and reviewing the results of those assessments, we have increased total spending on our IT program – which includes cybersecurity, information governance and IT infrastructure – by more than 50% since 2017. Additionally, the CIO’s team has nearly doubled in size over the last four years.

Which agencies did Colonial coordinate with during the response?

Upon learning that the Company had been the victim of a cyberattack on the morning of Friday, May 7, Colonial Pipeline promptly shut down its systems and notified the FBI.  From that point forward, Colonial remained in regular communication with the FBI, the Department of Energy, and other relevant state and federal officials.  DOE was assigned as the primary federal coordinator by the White House and proved to be an invaluable partner in coordinating response activities.  In addition to DOE, we also worked closely with the White House and National Security Council, PHMSA, FERC, DHS, CISA, and EIA.

Colonial has shared and will continue to share information with the Federal government as the forensic investigation continues.  In addition to outreach with Federal officials, Colonial has taken the time to brief various state officials since the incident began.