Alberta diesel shortage continues

Alberta truckers are still lining up for fuel despite a diesel production shortage that ended a month ago.

Diesel pumps can't keep up with Christmas trucking rush

Alberta truckers are still lining up for fuel despite a diesel production shortage that ended a month ago.

Diesel production at Suncor's Petro-Canada refinery near Edmonton is back to normal. (CBC)

A slowdown at Suncor's Petro-Canada refinery near Edmonton and an explosion at a Regina refinery in the fall created a prairie-wide shortage.

While production of diesel is back up to normal, drivers are still finding diesel pumps roped off, as trucker Larry Pekar did in Sherwood Park, Alta., Tuesday.

"I didn't know whether I could fill up or not, they're just filling the tanks right now," he said, while jockeying his 18-wheeler toward a pump that just came open.

Finding fuel is always on his mind, he told CBC News.

The owner of one of western Canada's biggest trucking companies estimates the shortage has cost his business about $100,000.

"Everybody's putting up with it," said Carl Rosenau, of Rosenau Transport.

The past few weeks are part of truckers' Christmas rush, he said.

Although tankers, known as Super Bs, are providing normal amounts of diesel to cardlocks, depleted reserves haven't been topped up, he said.

"They're not going to have this sorted out for a couple, three months," said Rosenau. 

"The underground storage tanks are empty, the truck tanks are empty, and when they bring a Super B to a card lock, 55 trucks empties out that Super B and there's no fuel in the storage tanks for somebody else."