Nova Scotia

Gas shortages continue to plague N.S. motorists

Gas shortages continue to plague motorists in Nova Scotia.

Gas shortages continue to plague motorists in Nova Scotia.

Higher-than-normal demand coupled with a shortage at the Imperial refinery caused some pumps to come up dry late last week.

There was a tanker anchored at the refinery Monday morning and it was riding high in the water — a sign that it has delivered fuel to the refinery.

Tanker trucks had been leaving the refinery since 4 a.m. AT Monday, taking fuel to stations in the Halifax area.

Many gas stations in the municipality and beyond were out of some or all types of fuel over the long weekend, when demand for gas was higher than usual.

On Sunday, some of the stations ran out of regular fuel and were offering higher grades of gas at a cheaper cost.

Darryl Bushulak was delivering gas to stations at 5 a.m AT Monday. He said he doesn't have enough in his 50,000-litre tanker to fill the demand, but said he was relieved he was able to pump some fuel from his truck.

The early-morning delivery was welcome on Sackville Drive, where at least one station is now out of fuel entirely. Others are left with no more premium or mid-grade in the tanks.

Bushulak said the shortage at the nearby Imperial refinery started in the middle of last week and isn't over yet.

"It's wait and see down there, they're trying all kinds of things to try and get product down there for everybody so they do have a lot of options, but unfortunately they do run out as well," said Bushulak.

"We work for a plumbing company, so if they don't get the gas straightened out, we do a lot of driving, we go down the valley, Yarmouth, New Glasgow, Cape Breton," said Lesley Frost, who was getting gas for a worksite generator at the Ultramar on Sackville Drive.

The Imperial Oil refinery in Dartmouth has been offline since a thunderstorm July 21 shut off power at the plant. The refinery normally supplies diesel and gasoline to all types of service stations in Nova Scotia.

The refinery then entered its maintenance shutdown three weeks early, before it could stockpile fuel.

The company is rationing fuel to stations for now until it can bring in enough to bridge the shutdown period.

Imperial has a reciprocal supply deal with the Irving refinery in Saint John and has begun to bring in fuel to fill the demand until the maintenance period is over — which is expected to be in about two weeks.