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Gas Shortage in Accordion City

Petro-Canada gas pump

If you’re not in the general vicinity of Ontario and Quebec, you’re probably not aware of the gasoline shortage here. The shortage is caused by these factors acting in combination:

  • A fire at Imperial Oil’s refinery in Nanticoke has reduced its production capacity to half. It’s not expected to get back to full capacity for at least another two weeks.
  • Fuel could be brought in by rail, but there had been a strike of Canadian National Railway workers for the past couple of weeks, cutting off that option until it ended recently.
  • The St. Lawrence Seaway, which connects the Atlantic to over a dozen inland ports, will remain frozen for at least another month. If it weren’t frozen, fuel could be brought in via ship.

Naturally, the price of gasoline has jumped considerably. It’s quite a change from the ultra-low price of 69.5 cents (US$0.59) a litre (that’s about US$2.24/gallon) for a few hours one Friday evening a few weeks ago to about a buck (US$0.85) a litre (about US$3.22/gallon).

A number of oil companies have had to close down their filling stations:

  • Imperial Oil, a.k.a. Esso, has close 100 out of 400 stations in Ontario
  • Canadian Tire stations, who are supplied by Imperial Oil, have also had closings
  • Petro-Canada has closed 25 out of 205 in the Toronto area
  • Shell has closed 30 out of 600 stations across Ontario

Given the current gasoline situation and the weather forecast for tomorrow (Thursday — 10 cm of snow followed by freezing rain), save yourself some money — and headaches — and skip driving.

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3 replies on “Gas Shortage in Accordion City”

You may want to come out to Vancouver, the litre of Gas here is moving between 95 cents (around 3 weeks ago) and 112 (yesterday).

So from that standpoint you guys are still cheaper off.

I ran out of gas on Yonge St. Yesterday. 3 nice people helped push the big cop car to a side street. After CAAshowed up, I tried to find a place to get some gas.

It was like a scene from the Road Warrior.

All these never-do-wells scavenging around for a couple of gallons.

Where’s Humongus when you need him?

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