MI - Gas Stations Face Shortage

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

[Fair Use: For Educational and Research Purposes Only]

Local news provided by: Metro Networks

June 14, 2000

Gas Stations Face Shortage

Despite the rising cost of fuel, many local gas stations say they are running low on unleaded regular. Owners say a couple of factors are contributing to the shortage. One is that supply is down, and two is that many motorists who used to use premium gas are now switching over to regular to save a few cents.



-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), June 14, 2000


Fuel supplies Metro gas stations run low Ruptured pipeline, refinery shutdown blamed for shortage

Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News Mya Catching, 21, an employee at the Mobil station at 12 Mile and Farmington Road, says business has been slow.

By Kim Kozlowski / The Detroit News

SOUTHFIELD -- Hassan Saad stood behind the cash register of the Mobil gas station he manages and greeted only one customer during a lull on Tuesday afternoon. "It's not busy because of the price," said Saad, manager of the station at Nine Mile and Northwestern Highway, where a gallon of regular gas costs $2.23. But it didn't help matters that Saad's 24-hour station ran out of gas last Saturday and was without a supply until Tuesday morning. Making matters worse was the fact that when the suppliers arrived, they only gave Saad regular-grade fuel, so he couldn't accommodate customers who only use high-octane fuel. Worst of all, the supplier only gave Saad 4,000 gallons -- half of what he normally needs to get through two days of business -- and didn't say when they were coming back

. "They said that's all they could give me," Saad said. "I am going to be running out very soon, by tonight or early morning. I hope they come back as soon as possible." As gas prices continue to climb, some service stations across Metro Detroit are running out of gas. Most owners are blaming the dwindling supply on a gasoline pipeline that ruptured last week in Jackson. The pipeline provides about 30 percent of the gas in Michigan. Mark Griffin, president of the Michigan Petroleum Association, said it's unclear how many stations are coping with limited gas supplies and grades, but he has received calls from many of the association's members. He said the problem is being caused by a combination of the pipeline rupture and the Alma refinery shutdown last fall.

"Our industry is scrambling to come up with a supply to meet our customer's needs," Griffin said. "My guess is within a week, that pipeline situation will be under control and the supply situation should start to ease, especially in southeast Michigan." On Tuesday, many Mobil stations were taking a hit. Some had put bags around the nozzles of the higher-grade fuels. "People are generally understanding because we're not the only station in this predicament," said Darnell Morgan, an employee at the Mobil station at Eight Mile and Southfield roads. "We can't get the gas." Most customers didn't seem to mind. "The super grades are not available, but who can afford it anyway?" said LaShaun Mustafaa of Detroit. In its weekly survey of service stations across the state, AAA Michigan not only asked for prices to determine an average, it also queried owners as to whether they thought they would have adequate supplies this week.

The result: 86 percent believed they would, while 14 percent anticipated temporary shortages. Randy Ault, owner of the Mobil on Plymouth and Merriman roads in Livonia, might have been in the minority. Last night, he ran out of regular gasoline. On Tuesday afternoon, he ran out of the midgrade. He expected to be out of super before long. "I called -- they said we'll get it when we get it," Ault said. "This is the first time we've run out of gas since the '70s." But most people weren't concerned so much with the lack of supply as they were with the prices, which continue to soar.

"I can't even afford to go to work when it's this high," said Robert Wright, who bought $2.30 worth of gas to get to his job at a Kmart in Southfield. "This is so the rich people get richer and the poor people get poorer."

http://sol.bizserve.com/search97cgi/s97_cgi? ResultTemplate=popupresults.hts&Collection=detnews1&SortField=FILEDATE &Action=Search&SortOrder=desc&SearchType=allwords&getit=oil&QueryText= oilblockquote

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), June 14, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ