Tanker trouble causes gas shortage in P.E.I.
CHARLOTTETOWN — The pumps at a number of gas stations across Prince Edward Island have literally gone dry on at least two occasions in the last couple of weeks.
And the president of the Retail Gasoline Dealers Association on Prince Edward Island says it’s something drivers should definitely be aware of.
“It’s a possibility that we may have to live with a little more often,” Wayne Vloet said Tuesday.
A combination of high demand and delays in getting the tanker into Charlottetown appear to be at the centre of the recent shortage.
“I’ve heard, for whatever reason, they’re having difficulty getting loads in here, whether it’s cruise ships or what it is.”
Cruise ships and the tanker share the same dock.
Jamie Fox, who owns the Esso station in Borden-Carleton, says stations were in need of gas two weeks before the tanker made its latest delivery on July 19.
“It caused a massive shortage on the Island and it pushed the carriers to bring in a lot of fuel from the Dartmouth (Imperial Oil) refinery,” said Fox, whose station was out of regular fuel for 16 hours.
Fox said stations were put on allotments, meaning they could only draw a certain amount of fuel per day.
“I think the maximum was approximately 300,000 litres for all Essos across the Island.”
Glenda Cooper at Cooper’s Red & White in Eldon said they’ve also had problems keeping the their tanks wet with regular fuel.
“It should be a concern to government that there be a reserve kept within the province to withstand consumption up to two weeks,” Cooper said.
“We did run out twice and couldn’t get gas until the next morning.”
Vloet noted tourism traffic has been up and that the price of gas was cheaper on P.E.I. than it was in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick so people filled up before they left via ferry or the bridge.
Vloet added that there was a shortage last winter as well that resulted in gas being trucked over from the refineries.
“If it becomes an issue, and hopefully it won’t, (government) will have to take a look at monitoring the volume to make sure we’re not going to run out. If there’s no reason for us to run out then we shouldn’t,” Vloet said.
“If the refinery has no gas then obviously there’s a reason but if it’s a scheduling problem they should be able to work around that.”