Some Vernon pumps are running dry, as gas shortages take place around B.C. and Western Canada.
Most local stations are still serving customers (at an approximate price of $135.9 — the lowest in the Okanagan) and state there is no shortage.
But several Petro-Canada stations have run out all grades of fuel and diesel – including the 27th Street and 25th Avenue stations, which are both awaiting a delivery. As of Wednesday the Shell station on Okanagan Landing was also out of a couple fuel grades and only able to supply premium, diesel and marked fuel. The Shell on 32nd Street has also run dry.
“We continue to experience a gasoline supply shortage in parts of B.C.,” said Nicole Fisher, spokesperson for Suncor Energy (which owns Petro-Canada). “We understand that this is an inconvenience to our customers, we apologize and are working to mitigate the impacts.”
Planned maintenance at Canadian refineries has caused the shortage, but work is underway to truck fuel to those that are lacking.
“Our Edmonton Suncor refinery is back in service so it’s a matter of replenishing stations,” said Fisher.
But Petro isn’t the only company with a shortage.
“It’s a number of different providers that are experiencing issues,” said Fisher. “I don’t believe it’s just Petro-Canada. It is an industry issue.”
The shortage is also felt at select stations across Western Canada — including Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
But those affected are sourcing additional supply to keep up with demand.
Meanwhile, gas shortages are the last concern for a competing gas company in Vernon.
A Shell staff member reported that their gas supply is fine, it’s the price they are selling fuel at that is affecting business.
Vernon boasts some of the lowest prices in B.C. Gas buddy reports prices are between $128.9 and $145.7 across the province.
The Shell employee said Vernon stations should be selling gas for approximately $141.9.
The average price in Canada is $132.1.
When asked just how exactly gas prices are determined, Fisher said there a multiple factors.
“There are a number of things that go into how fuel prices are determined,” she said, citing the price of the barrel, the price of the market, how it gets from source to location.
“It doesn’t necessarily correlate (barrel vs. listed).”
Canadian Fuels addresses the question of gas pricing in a recent article. Another factor is a growing number of independent gas stations, which are responsible for setting their own prices.
The price of gas is usually the biggest concern for consumers, but there is also mixed responses from Vernon residents on the shortage.
“No concern. I have an electric car,” said Aaron Toma, in response to a Vernon Morning Star Facebook query.
Meanwhile, Ralph Nelson reports that there may be additional causes of the shortage.
“P.G. Husky Refinery was down due to a fire as well.”