Gas stations in Metro Vancouver run out of supply, and weather could be to blame

An Esso station in North Vancouver wrapped in yellow tape due to a shortage of gas on Jan. 17, 2020. Global News

Frustrated drivers who pulled into some Metro Vancouver gas stations for a fill-up Friday evening were forced to go elsewhere after being told supplies had been tapped.

Several stations in the region — mostly Esso brand — closed their pumps entirely, with at least one in North Vancouver only selling supreme-grade gasoline.

One gas station attendant at a different North Vancouver station who did not want to be named said he’s been told the heavy snow was to blame, with trucks not able to get to stations.

The attendant said it’s been two days since the station has had a delivery.

Petroleum analyst Dan McTeague said the shortage could also be linked to maintenance at the Parkland refinery in Burnaby, which supplies gas to a majority of the Lower Mainland.

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The maintenance is expected to last eight weeks, he said.

He added in an email the bad weather “isn’t helping” and can put “a strain on fuel distribution,” despite Parkland’s efforts to keep supplies unaffected by the maintenance.

A spokesperson for Parkland said operations at the refinery were normal Saturday but did not answer additional questions about the weather or how many stations were affected.

Global News has reached out to Esso’s parent company ExxonMobil for comment.

On Saturday, fuel trucks were seen finally dropping off supply to those same stations seen closed Friday, allowing them to reopen.

One driver who requested anonymity told Global News he and others were having trouble getting to stations for drop-offs this week and were playing catch-up now that the weather has improved.

The Ministry of Transportation was warning drivers to avoid travel and stay off the roads at the height of the snow Wednesday and Thursday.

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Gas shortage fuels price hike

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