Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia gas shortage could last for days, says Wilson Fuel VP

A late delivery of gasoline to the Imperial Oil terminal in Dartmouth has caused many gas stations across the province to run out of fuel.

Gasoline is expected to begin flowing from Imperial Oil distribution terminal later today

A fuel truck leaves the Dartmouth refinery late Monday morning. (Catharine Tunney/CBC)

A late delivery of gasoline to the Imperial Oil terminal in Dartmouth has caused many gas stations across the province to run out of fuel.

Dave Collins, vice-president of Wilson Fuel Co. Limited, said he suspects it could be five days before all stations across the province are resupplied with gasoline. 

"What ends up happening over the next 48 hours — since your biggest problem is, first of all no product, the next problem is a shortage of trucks and having enough trucks to get to all of the stores. So what we'll concentrate on is those trucks and those deliveries that do full-load deliveries," he said.

He said Imperial Oil told him the first two shipments that were sent to the Dartmouth terminal — one from the Gulf of Mexico and the other from Europe — did not meet the quality specifications to be sold in Canada.

'Third time's the charm'

Collins said a third cargo ship arrived Saturday.

The Petro Canada in Tantallon had gas Sunday and there were long lines to get it, with about four to five cars waiting per pump. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

"We're hoping that the third time's the charm and that this quality is good enough to be sold," he said.

Merle MacIssac, a spokesperson for Imperial, said product began being trucked-out to gas stations this morning at 8 a.m.

The closure of the Imperial Oil Refinery in 2013 and its conversion to a terminal is means inventories are much lower, said Collins. 

"Terminals, by their very nature, are much more tenuous around supply than say a refinery is because the inventory levels in a refinery are much greater. So, is this something that will happen to us again? I guarantee we'll be on allocation for shortages at some point in time in the next year," he said. 

He said retailers can't just bring gas in from Irving Oil in Saint John because that fuel contains ethanol. There also aren't enough trucks to make the journey.

Long lines of cars waiting to fill up

Lineups at pumps that still had fuel were long this weekend, with reports of people waiting to fill up several-cars deep.

Monica Dearman drove all the way from Windsor to find gas.

"This is the first gas station, in Burnside, that we could get [gas from]," she said.

Jane Roberts is heading to Cape Breton on vacation this morning and said she called ahead.

"I did get up early this morning to get diesel. I wanted to make sure I had some because we're going on vacation," she said. 

Imperial's spokesperson MacIsaac said the fuel is settling then will be tested and treated and should start flowing out of the terminal Monday afternoon.

Trucks with supreme will take several days longer before they can start making deliveries. 

CBC Nova Scotia called a sampling of gas stations around the province to find out the situation as of Sunday afternoon.


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