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McTeague: Fuel shortage could be in effect for at least the next week


FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Senior GasBuddy.com Petroleum Analyst Dan McTeague says that the ongoing fuel shortage in Western Canada, which is currently being felt in the B.C. Peace Region, could continue for at least the next week.

McTeague explained that the ongoing problems with Suncor restarting its refinery in Edmonton after a routine maintenance shutdown last month mean that Western Canada has lost 1/4 of its refining capacity. He said that even once that refinery has successfully restarted, it could take several additional days to get supplies to filling stations.

McTeague said that nearly all gas stations across Western Canada have been placed on “allocation,” meaning those stations won’t be receiving the full amount of fuel they request from their suppliers, and those refills won’t come as often. 

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“When you take a quarter of the fuel that is usually made available and people move from one station to another, it means that they’re impinged,” said McTeague. “So everyone is likely looking at disruptions whether they like it or not. Until Suncor declares that it’s fixed its problem, we’re all going to have to be prepared for those unforeseen events of our favourite gas stations running out of fuel.”

McTeague explained that the shutdown has not had a major price impact on the Chicago Spot Market, which regulates gasoline prices for most of Western Canada except the Metro Vancouver area. However, he said that there is a difference between that market and the Edmonton area of between seven and eight cents per litre, which means that while gas prices elsewhere have decreased with the drop in the price of crude oil, the shortage means that Western Canadians will be paying more of the same for fuel.

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