If you’ve tried to fill up your gas tank at a Calgary Petro-Canada recently, you might have run into a problem.
The company is experiencing a supply shortage, which has left some stations empty.
Petroleum analyst and president of Canadians for Affordable Energy Dan McTeague believes it’s either a terminal issue or a problem with the refinery.
“It sounds like Suncor has got a problem both with its terminal here in Calgary, but it may very well be an issue between Suncor and Esso as other stations are now forced to basically take up the slack left by problems,” said McTeague.
“It’s really unfortunate that we don’t have notices given of an impending crunch or what they call allocation. I see these things from time to time, but if they want to keep it secret, it stays secret. Except it’s no secret when it hits consumers.”
In a Monday statement, Suncor said it was aware of shortages at some service stations in and around Calgary.
“We are working to get product to sites as quickly as possible and expect this will be resolved over the coming days,” spokesperson Mita Adesanya said.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”
His bigger concern is high gas prices.
“Gas stations are buying their fuel for about $1.14, $1.15 but charging $1.36,” McTeague said.
“That’s a 21-cent a litre retail margin. Perhaps they may want to curb their enthusiasm and realize that the consumer can only go so far when it comes to these kinds of price spikes at a time in which prices are dropping dramatically.”
McTeague expects prices to decrease this week but noted that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is dampening oil and gas futures.
“Markets are spooked,” he said.
“The reality is that all of these things could mean a lessening of demand, at least the market is seeing it that way. So while it isn’t great for the energy sector, it should at least be good for consumers.”
Consumers could be facing a week or two of supply issues, he explained.
“There isn’t an indication of what is causing this other than perhaps maintenance has gone on much longer than expected at the Suncor refinery. For that reason, there just isn’t enough to go around temporarily, so make do with what you have,” McTeague said.
“No need to fill up. There’s no massive shortage or anything like that. We have enough refinery capacity. Just happens that one of three major players here in the province has experienced a bit of a hiccup.”