If you read or heard some of the news coverage about the supply situation in Western Canada today, you might have thought there was a bit of a disconnect. All reports were based on the same information contained in yesterday’s update and generally well done, but some appear to be a little more enthusiastic on timelines that we projected. Problem is, it’s difficult to give a definite timeline when we’ll be back to normal. With the steps we’ve taken, we will start to see improvements across the region over the weekend and into next week, but it’s going to take more time than that to overcome the challenges ahead of us. Please click below for a more detailed overview.
7 entries from August 2008
We have restarted the Cat Cracker at the Edmonton Refinery and are proceeding in a measured way to increase production. It’s a complex unit and the start-up process involves many stages. Simply put, it’s not like rebooting your computer. A successful startup requires a strong focus on safety and a lot of patience. There are no short-cuts. This is an industry standard process designed to steadily increase the unit’s capacity to produce gasoline.
In addition, we will maintain our additional supply operations that now involve rail and a temporary fleet of almost 40 trucks. This effort has distributed millions of litres of gasoline into the region over the last two weeks and helped minimize the inconvenience to our customers.
This two-pronged approach will help us to replenish inventories that have been drawn down to keep serving customers. While we’re not out of the woods yet, customers should start to see things improve by the weekend.
You may have picked up the paper or surfed the web this morning and read that approximately 80-90 Petro-Canada retail sites in Alberta and the interior of British Columbia are now out of gas due to the unplanned Cat Cracker outage at our Edmonton Refinery.
If you live in the area, this range likely didn't come as much of a surprise. If it did, then let me offer some context. This has been the "steady-state" for almost a week as the strategic measures we implemented in the early stages of this situation to serve as many customers as possible successfully took hold. To help explain those measures and what it would mean, I posted an update last Friday August 15th, which also appeared in the media. In it, I included the following:
Due to current circumstances, we may see 80-90, largely company sites, out of gasoline for a period of time, or 2-3% of the total gas stations in the region.
While our efforts to-date have helped to stabilize the situation and minimize the level of inconvenience to our customers, our all-out approach to return the situation to normal as quickly as possible continue.
While we’re certainly not out of the woods yet when it comes to gasoline in Western Canada, we continue to make progress on a number of fronts. If you live in Alberta or the interior of BC, you will have noticed that we continue to experience outages of gasoline at a number of our retail sites. For more information on that, please read the update from August 15th. To understand the work that’s being done behind the scenes to improve the situation, please read on.
There’s quite an effort underway at Petro-Canada to move as much gasoline into the interior of BC and Alberta as possible. Safety is always first and foremost, but when you have a dedicated team of people with years of experience in moving fuel across this country, they can really step up their efforts when a situation like this arises.