NEVADA - Pipeline Logjam Shorts Gas Stations : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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April 25, 2000

Title: Pipeline Logjam Shorts Gas Stations


A problem involving a pipeline has caused a temporary gasoline shortage in Las Vegas -- but officials say it is not serious and motorists should be able to find fuel at most stations.

The Nevada Gasoline Retailers Association said today that an estimated 200 of the area's gasoline stations -- about half -- either ran out of some or all grades of fuel on Monday.

"I ran out of unleaded regular at 10 a.m., mid-grade at 2 p.m. and sold just premium until 10 p.m. when my delivery arrived," said NGRA president Jack Greco, owner of an Arco station on Rancho Drive.

"It will take four to five days to correct the situation, but it is not a serious problem. Don't start topping off your tanks."

Greco said the problem has started to subside, and he estimates that less than 100 local stations will run out of some or all grades of gasoline today.

The problem is being blamed on a gasoline chain in Las Vegas ordering too much diesel fuel and effectively blocking unleaded gasoline from getting through.

The gasoline chain, which Greco declined to identify, is blaming the pipeline, and pipeline officials are blaming the chain, Greco said.

The pipeline from Southern California to Las Vegas pumps all grades of fuel, one grade at a time. After one fuel comes through, some of the next fuel is contaminated until the first fuel is completely washed away by the new fuel.

The contaminated fuel then is shipped back to the California refineries by truck to be refined again and sent back through the pipeline.

"What bothers me is that there is supposed to be a 25-day supply (of fuel) at the tank farm," Greco said. "What an incident like this tells me is that we don't have that much gasoline on hand for situations like this because refineries are producing less."

Because of a reduced production in gasoline, pump prices in recent months have climbed to record levels in Southern Nevada and elsewhere.


-- (, April 26, 2000

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