Nova Scotia

Gas price drop fuels shortages: expert

A big drop in gasoline prices in Nova Scotia will send drivers flocking to the pumps Friday, leaving some stations dry by the end of the day, a gas expert says.

A big drop in gasoline prices in Nova Scotia will send drivers flocking to the pumps Friday, leaving some stations dry by the end of the day, a gas expert says.

CBC News predicts a price drop of six cents a litre when petroleum prices are reset at 12:01 a.m.

Dave Collins, with Wilsons Fuel, said a drop in world oil prices comes at a time when many gas stations in the province are struggling with fuel shortages.

"There will be way too much demand on Friday to meet what's at the gas stations. It will be a challenge, I think, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see a fair amount of run-outs later in the day," he said.

There have been gas shortages around the province since a lightning strike last month halted production at the Imperial Oil refinery in Dartmouth — the main source of gas in Nova Scotia.

A spokesman for the refinery warned of ongoing shortages before the plant is running again in two weeks.

South Shore Marine near Chester ran out of fuel on Wednesday, which forced organizers of the Chester Race Week annual regatta to send their support boats farther away to Lunenburg.

"We were sending our marked boats and our safety boats to get refueled and they just ran out of fuel," said Randy Stevens, rear commodore of the Chester Yacht Club.

The province's minister responsible for emergency measures assures there's enough gas to go around.

"The feedback I got is there is ample supply, it's a matter of distribution. If you have an artificial or unexpected increase in that demand, such as someone saying there could be a shortage because the prices go down over the weekend — that's self-fulfilling propehecy as we know and that could create that," said Justice Minister Ross Landry.

"We're very confident that there is sufficient fuel available."

Gas prices have dropped around the Maritimes this week. In Prince Edward Island, there was an unscheduled price drop of 4.5 cents a litre.

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