Fuel supplies squeezed by Sandy

Nov. 2, 2012
The shortage is one of power-- not fuel

There's no shortage of gasoline and diesel following Hurricane Sandy, but persistent large-scale power outages are leaving many affected areas with no way to distribute or pump fuel.  And those fueling stations where power has been restored are reporting long lines of vehicles attempting to fill empty tanks.

As pointed out by a report posted today by The New York Times, ports and refineries that supply much of the affected region’s gasoline had been shut down ahead of the storm as well as suffered damage from it.

“That disrupted deliveries to gas stations that had power to pump the fuel,” the newspaper noted. “But the bigger problem was that many stations and storage facilities remained without power.”

Asked about the seeming if localized shortages of motor fuel, Denton Cinquegrana, editor at the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), told FleetOwner that  “there is no supply issues-- there is plenty of gasoline and diesel. The problem is getting it to market. The distribution and logistics system is absolutely snarled right now.

“The impact is most likely going to be short-term,” he continued. “Once power starts to trickle back on, [fueling] stations will return, racks and terminals will get back online etc.”

Cinquegrana noted that fuel prices around the country are apparently not being affected by the Sandy catastrophe.

“Nationwide prices are falling,” he remarked. “And in the Northeast —in New Jersey and New York in particular— they are actually pretty flat” right now.”

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