As a one-two hit to the industry, production at Suncor's refinery in Edmonton was slowed down by a third-party's hydrogen shortage. As a result, stations across the region started rationing fuel. Since then, Suncor spokesperson Sneh Seetal says that their hydrogen supply was replaced late last week, and the idle units are back in operation.
However, it will still take weeks for diesel supplies to return to normal, according to Ted Stoner, Vice-President of the Western Canada Division of the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute. He explains that during late fall and winter, supply and demand for diesel is already tight, and "wrinkles" like those in Regina and Edmonton "throw everything for a loop".
"It's going to take weeks before the inventory start to build up," he suspects, adding it will come back very gradually. That's all with the hope that nothing else goes wrong.
Although limits that were in place earlier this month have largely been removed, some service stations in Dawson Creek still say they are low on supply. Dawson Co-Op currently has a limit of 300 litres per day, and UFA has a restriction of 500 litres, but as of Monday afternoon is out of diesel. It is expecting more tomorrow.
Both the Shell and Esso cardlocks say they aren't experiencing a shortage, and have no restriction on diesel sales. As of last week, Northern Peace Petroluem, the Petro-Canada agents, has returned to 24 hour sales, after limiting fuelling to two four-hour morning and afternoon slots.