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.
First, we understand that your time is important. So, if you are looking for gasoline, we have taken measures to notify you if a site is experiencing an outage. Look for 000.0 on the price sign or yellow caution tape at the site. While the site may not have gasoline, it is open and ready to serve your other needs – from convenience items to prepared food and car washes. As well, if you usually fill-up with diesel at a particular Petro-Canada station, even if the 000.0 signs are up, diesel is likely still available for purchase.
In terms of distribution, we continue to access more trucks and drivers to import gasoline into the region. Late last week, I reported that our expanded truck fleet was delivering about 200,000 litres of gasoline a day from Vancouver to our distribution terminal in Kamloops. Our efforts to source and access more trucks continue to be successful, meaning we have been able to more than quadruple the amount of gasoline being delivered to Kamloops and points beyond. We will continue to experience run-outs of gasoline at some sites as expected, but this unprecedented distribution effort has helped stabilize the situation. In addition, we continue to look at various other options, with a focus on rail, to bring additional gasoline supplies into the area.
As for the Cat Cracker (Catalytic Cracking Unit) at the Edmonton Refinery, we continue to make good progress. Simply put, this is no small effort. A team of approximately 120 specialized personnel have been working on the unit day and night to get it ready to return to operation. Cat Crackers are technically complex units involving numerous large pieces of equipment. The process to bring it back into operation requires numerous steps and tremendous diligence to ensure nothing is overlooked in the process. Our objective remains to safely return the unit to production as quickly as possible and we continue to get closer to that goal. Even when it does return to production, it will take time to replenish gasoline inventories and start returning our network back to normal.
To give you an idea of the complexity of a Cat Cracker, I found this neat bit of animation from a UK website. No two refineries are exactly alike, but it gives a good overview of how a Cat Cracker works and interacts with the other refining units.
I hope these updates give you an indication of the efforts we are taking to minimize the inconvenience and serve as many customers as we can. Thanks for your patience and understanding. If you’ve missed some of the recent media coverage, you can find it here (under Gas Shortage) and here.
Photo Credit: SkeenaValleyGirl