Is this what we should expect in a situation of real declining production volumes? Man, I can't believe how widespread this has become over a single fire in a single refinery. For how delicately balanced this entire fuel delivery infrastructure is, we sure put a lot of faith in the 'fact' that it will always be there and always be operational.
Gas shortage fears grow
Roads across Ontario will become parking lots unless something is done to alleviate a growing fuel shortage that has already caused the closure of scores of service stations, a senior executive at the Ontario Trucking Association is warning. As of last night the problem had spilled over into Quebec, with at least 10 stations closing down, according to the newspaper La Presse. "We have some carriers entering a critical stage and if this continues into next week, trucks will be running out of gas and stopping on the highway," said Stephen Laskowski, vp of the Ontario Trucking Association. As shortages increase, prices have shot up as much as 25% for some kinds of truck fuel, Laskowski said. Gas has jumped from 81¢ a litre to nearly $1. A fire at Imperial Oil's refinery in Nanticoke, ON, 10 days ago forced the company to ration supplies and now the problem is spilling over to the company's competitors, including Petro-Canada, which was forced to temporarily shutter as many as 30 stations yesterday and institute a rationing program just to keep up with demand. Last night, Shell Canada said it was also having problems at its refinery in Quebec, but did not elaborate. Gordon Wong, a spokesman for Imperial Oil, said the company has cut back on sales of diesel by 60% and gasoline by 40%. Imperial, which sells gas under the Esso banner, has also been forced to close some of its stations, but the company was unable to say how many. Imperial said it expects to get its refinery back up to full production by the middle of March. But that may be too late for many in the trucking industry.
(National Post 070227)