Oil prices rose moderately in early trade on Monday. The closure of a large oil pipeline in the United States after the hacker attack provided a small push. A barrel (159 liters) of Brent North Sea Diversified was priced at $ 68.64 (€ 56.92) in the morning. That was 36 cents more than it had been on Friday. A US West Texas Intermediate barrel rose 33 cents to $ 65.23.
Operation of one of the largest gasoline pipelines in the United States has been temporarily suspended after a cyberattack. Colonial Pipeline operator announced Sunday evening that the extortion program was involved. In such attacks, the data on the computers is encrypted and the attackers usually demand a ransom for the release. The company is working to return to normal operations.
The pipeline primarily connects refineries located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico with the southern and eastern United States. Among other things, gasoline, diesel fuel and heating oil are transported, approximately 2.5 million barrels per day. The company moves about 45 percent of the total fuel consumed on the East Coast and supplies more than 50 million Americans. The US Army is also one of the buyers.