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December 2012

5 entries from November 2012

How does a Petro-Canada station get to your neighbourhood?

Just a reminder - don’t forget to answer our PumpTalk poll and let us know what you want to read about!

Last week, we looked at how gasoline gets from crude oil to the pump at the station. But how does the station even get there in the first place?

Petro-Canada retail station

I checked in with the folks in our Network Planning Group ("network" referring to our network of stations, not our computer network) to see how they plan the growth of our station network. I expected to see a lot of Sim City being played. Surprisingly, that was not the case. They use a lot more math and science rather than a city planning game where you can wipe out your downtown with an alien attack. Score one for the Network Planning Group!

Darryl was my contact there; he explained to me the lengthy process for getting a Petro-Canada station into a neighbourhood.

Continue reading "How does a Petro-Canada station get to your neighbourhood?" »

Out of the Ground and into the Pump… Getting Fuel to You

Petro-Canada pump
Fuel at the pump

Ever wonder where your fuel comes from? We all know that gasoline comes from crude oil, but what's the actual process for creating it and getting it to your local station?

Here at PumpTalk, we checked in with our behind-the-scenes experts at Petro-Canada and got the goods on how the whole process works.

First, we start with crude oil. There are several different types of crude oil (heavy, light, sweet, sour, black, yellow, synthetic (crude made from bitumen from the oil sands)) depending on their original source. The differences are primarily in their density and their sulphur content.

The higher the density (heavy) and the greater the sulphur content (sour) generally means that these crudes are more resource-intensive for refining. This graph from the US Energy Information Administration plots the density and sulphur content for several types of crude. 

Continue reading "Out of the Ground and into the Pump… Getting Fuel to You" »

Staying Safe - and Out of the Lake - with Your GPS

Using a GPS
Photo: iStockphoto

My wife and I were taking a road trip from Vancouver to San Francisco about five years ago and we decided that we'd get ourselves a GPS to help us navigate. High on technology and hubris, we didn't even bother to bring paper maps with us. That's how sure we were that our fancy GPS was going to be all we needed.

Well, you can see where this is going. The GPS was not the magical device we thought it was. Not only did it run out of battery almost immediately, but as it turns out, the car charger that came with it didn't work, so once we were out of juice, we had only the road signs to guide us. HA ha! We pulled over at the first gas station we saw and bought us some paper maps.

We eventually got the GPS recharged and it WAS helpful in a few situations…but it also invited us to "Make a U-turn" in the middle of a busy freeway and told us that taking Trinity Road to get back to our Sonoma hotel was a good idea. Trinity Road remains one of my Top 3 Most Terrifying Drives of All Time. We returned the GPS when we got home.

Continue reading "Staying Safe - and Out of the Lake - with Your GPS" »

PumpTalk Poll - Let us know what you think!

The initial purpose of the PumpTalk blog was to provide our readers with information around gas prices and fuel efficiency, but over the last couple of years, we've also been sharing tips on driver safety, vehicle maintenance, industry news and other topics related to driving and Petro-Canada.

Last year we conducted a poll to get your opinion on what are you, our readers, are most interested in seeing more of on PumpTalk - and this year, we're doing it again!

Let us know in the poll below what topics you'd like to see more of on PumpTalk.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Preparing Your Car for Resale

Preparing your car for resale
Photo: iStockphoto

With the auto show season gearing up, your new-car buying urge may be accelerating. If you're thinking about buying a new ride, now's the time to figure out how to get your current automotive investment up to speed.

Although a car depreciates over time, regular maintenance and a few cosmetic efforts can ensure that you get top dollar for your vehicle when you decide to replace it.

Here are some tips to help you and your buyer drive away happy:

Perform routine maintenance. The number one way to get the best value for your vehicle is to keep up-to-date with vehicle maintenance. Regular maintenance keeps your car running safely and prolongs the life of your car. When you decide to sell, have a trained technician give your vehicle a thorough going over before you put it on the market.

Continue reading "Preparing Your Car for Resale" »