A gasoline shortage at some Shell stations has spread from Alberta to southeastern B.C.

Shell said it doesn't know how many service stations have run dry, nor how long it will take to get fuel to them.


Some Shell stations in Alberta, and now B.C., are out of fuel, with no guarantee when the pumps will flow again. ((CBC))

Several stations, starting in Alberta and now in B.C., are out of gas and have been for at least a week. Calgary and other places east of the Rockies hit empty last week, and the drought has spread to the B.C. communities of Nelson, Creston, Trail and several others.

Shell acknowledges it has a supply problem, and that station owners have had to turn customers away.

"We've got our trucks on the road, but it is a tight market, so I can't say how long this will last for," said Jeff Gabert, a Shell spokesperson.

The shortage probably won't spread, like it did last summer, when entire towns in Western Canada ran out of gasoline. For now, the fuel drought is limited to Shell, industry analyst Michael Ervin said.

Ervin also said it's typical that the West gets hit hardest when supplies run low, despite the ample oil in Alberta.

"In general, we see Western Canada as the most vulnerable. There is very little relief from offshore and pipelines flow away from this region and not into it," Ervin explained.