The Fort McMurray wildfires and an unplanned outage at an Edmonton refinery are leading to shortages at Suncor’s Petro-Canada stations across Western Canada.
Suncor spokeswoman Sneh Seetal says the cumulative effects of lower crude production because of the fires and the Edmonton outage mean the company has been producing less gasoline and diesel fuel for its retail operations.
The company is reporting temporary shortages at Petro-Canada stations in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as at sites in the British Columbia interior.
In Saskatoon, at least three Petro-Canada stations are completely out of gas, while diesel is on limited supply.
CKOM News was told the station at 8th Street and Cumberland Avenue ran out around 3 p.m. Monday.
As of Friday, the location at Diefenbaker Drive and Worobetz Place had been dry for days.
The station at Assiniboine Drive and Warman Road is also out.
Prices at pumps elsewhere in the city have gone up between five to eight cents, with some stations showing gas at $1.11/ litre.
According to Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst with gasbuddy.com, the bump in price is not related to the issues with Suncor. He said the increase is a delayed reaction to prices going up by $0.30/gallon in the midwestern United States.
McTeague said there could be trouble ahead for the busy summer driving season because it’s hard to know how long Suncor’s supply disruption will last.
“It’s one thing to have concern about gas prices and why they are relatively high, it’s another thing not to have enough gasoline to make sure the economy is functioning properly.”
To help fill the gap, Suncor is bringing in more gasoline and diesel by truck and rail from its own network as well as from third parties.
Seetal added that Suncor is prioritizing supplies to go to what it deems are critical stations where there are few or no other refuelling options.
She said it was difficult to say when supplies would return to normal but that the company is working to restart its oilsands operations to provide more crude oil input to its refinery.
— With files from CKOM News