With a fuel shortage spreading across northern B.C., Houston has not been spared.
Houston’s 7-Eleven gas station has run out of gas at least four times this year.
Although Houston council has not received any formal complaints from the public, Mayor Shane Brienen said this is definitely a topic of discussion around town.
“When 7-Eleven is running low, people are getting it out to the community through social media,” he said. “Locals are dealing with it by keeping their vehicles topped up; we also have two Cardlock bulk plants that sell fuel during the day.”
Brienen added that he has heard a few cases where tourists traveling through the area have run out of fuel, as there have been a few occasions where neighbouring communities were without fuel at the same time as Houston.
“Often someone with a card for the bulk plants will sell them [tourists] fuel,” he said.
However, it’s still unclear if fuel shortages have affected local tourism.
According to Houston and District Chamber of Commerce manager Maureen Czirfusz, the Visitor Centre in Houston has not received any complaints from tourists about fuel shortages.
Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst for Gasbuddy.com, said the shortage is seen across the interior of B.C. and Alberta, and is linked to longer than expected maintenance at a Suncor refinery in Edmonton, Alberta. Suncor operates Petro-Canada.
“Much of the gas in your region is sent from there to the Petro-Canada terminal in Kamloops, then trucked to Quesnel,” he explains. “At last report, the company was trying to source fuel from the U.S.”
McTeague says the temporary pump closures are expected to last some time, until Suncor gets its refinery operations up and running.
Suncor confirms it is experiencing a gasoline shortage.
“We understand that this is an inconvenience for our customers and we apologize. We are doing everything we can to minimize the impact, including sourcing additional supply,” said a spokesperson for Suncor.
- With files from Shannon Lough & Melanie Law