WATCH: Some drivers had a bit of a surprise over the weekend trying to fill up their cars, but finding some gas stations, running on empty. Isabelle Raghem reports.
Many drivers who pulled into a Shell gas stations on Vancouver Island today, got out of their cars just to get back in moments later and leaving without filling up.
A notice was posted at the Shell in Sooke telling customers the shortage was caused by a power outage at the fuel farm in Chemanius, likely a result of bad weather.
The dry pumps surprising drivers.
“I’ve never seen it without fuel before, nothing like this before”
Pumps also went dry at Shell in Colwood, where only diesel was available for drivers.
The Shell on Island Highway in View Royal hasn’t had regular gasoline since 9-am Saturday and don’t know when the next shipment will come in.
The View Royal station giving customers V-Power Gasoline for the same price as regular fuel, an upgrade drivers were happy to take.
While this shortage caused by the power outage will likely be fixed by Monday, gas experts say due to some disruptions in the States, a shortage could soon happen on a much larger scale.
“The bigger emerging issue is that one of the four refineries in Washington state, this case Phillips 66, will be going through maintenance over the next 45 days,” explains Dan McTeague of Gas Buddy, “at the same time another refinery in California is down temporarily. That means a lot of the gas supplies that come in British Columbia may very well be diverted to California.”
But that happens, McTeague says the Island will experience a hike in prices.
“We are going to have to pay an even bigger premium in order to attract U.S. refineries in Washington state, the three out of four still running, to turn towards us,and say we’re giving you another 10-12 cents a litre just to have you deliver a product. If we don’t do that, then there will definitely be a supply crunch.”
Gas prices are expected to jump to about $1.20 in the Greater Victoria Area and as much as $1.25 in and around Nanaimo by Wednesday or Thursday.