A fuel shortage is spreading across northern B.C., but has yet to affect most gas stations in Terrace.
Gas shortages have been reported in Prince Rupert, Quesnel, 100 Mile House, Prince George and Smithers over the last week after refinery issues were reported in Edmonton.
A truck driver delivering fuel to the Petro Canada gas station on Kalum Street on June 8 said the Terrace area shouldn’t be as affected by the shortage as other areas.
The only station reporting a shortage was the Tempo Gas Station on Highway 16 East. An attendant reported they ran out of regular gas last Friday and stayed dry over the weekend until they got a new shipment Monday from the Co-op refinery in Vanderhoof.
In Prince Rupert, the Chevron on Second Avenue West was selling Supreme Plus gas this week at regular gas prices – 130.9L. The attendant at the station said they ran out on Wednesday. Down the street, 7-Eleven also ran out of regular fuel.
Both Petro-Canada in Grassy Bay and at Hays Cove were still stocked with regular fuel.
“For the time being it’s normal for us. We’re not going to experience a shortage,” said Chris Wilson, manager of the Petro-Canada in Grassy Bay.
While the two Petro-Canada stations receive their gas from Terrace, Chevron and 7-11 receive their gas from Prince George where the shortage began.
Earlier in the week, gas stations in Quesnel hung up signs notifying customers that they were temporarily out of fuel.
The Petro-Canada station on Carson Avenue was out of fuel Monday afternoon until Tuesday night at roughly 11 p.m. The owner said he had diesel only for most of Tuesday.
“We normally get [fuel] from Prince George. We are working on getting a shipment daily. All I know is that they are trying to get us fuel and it’s a matter of where they can get it from to get it up here,” he said Tuesday afternoon.
Dan McTeague, the senior petroleum analyst for Gasbuddy.com, said the shortage is seen across the interior of B.C. and Alberta, and is linked to longer than expected maintenance at a Suncor refinery in Edmonton, Alberta. Suncor operates Petro-Canada.
“Much of the gas in your region is sent from there to the Petro-Canada terminal in Kamloops, then trucked to Quesnel,” he explains.
“At last report, the company was trying to source fuel from the U.S.”
McTeague says the temporary pump closures are expected to last some time, until Suncor gets its refinery operations up and running.
Suncor confirms it is experiencing a gasoline shortage.
“We understand that this is an inconvenience for our customers and we apologize. We are doing everything we can to minimize the impact, including sourcing additional supply,” said a spokesperson for Suncor.