Thursday morning brought lines and few sold out signs to area fuel retailers, but a local fuel distributor says those are just temporary. Douglass Distributing CEO Brad Douglass said the outages are the result of a panic that started in the Metroplex and traveled north.
Douglass said a media outlet in the Dallas-Fort Worth area started talking about fuel shortages and people got concerned.
“We would have enough supply, if they would just buy what they normally buy on a Thursday,” Douglass said.
He said the trouble began when people started topping off tanks, including those in big trucks. The retailers weren’t stocked for that so some of them ran out. Then the distributor couldn’t get them restocked immediately because there are longer lines due to a southern refinery shutting down temporarily during the storms of Hurricane Harvey.
“We do not expect the shortages to last any longer than one week,” Douglass Distributing said in a statement to the public.
The company’s statement also said all of its delivery trucks are out running 24 hours resupplying the local communities in northeast Texas and southeastern Oklahoma.
Douglass said many of the closed refineries will be opening up next week and things will gradually even out.
And those who are worried about the price increases can take heart, he said. There was an additional price increase overnight Wednesday due to the storm, but that should be the last one.
“Now the key is just keeping it (fuel) in supply,” he said, stressing again that local communities can help with that by only buying what they need. “The beauty of it is that they have suspended rules (that prevent Texas distributors from getting cheaper fuel from Oklahoma refineries due to environmental concerns) so we can bring Oklahoma gas down here.”
Douglass said their are refineries in Ardmore and Winniewood, Oklahoma, but the lines for refueling are longer than normal because everyone has had to scramble. He added the long holiday weekend complicates the issue a bit, but Douglass Distributing is going to do all it can to keep its stations stocked.
And, he said, the company is doing all it can to help in other ways. Douglass said after the company gave $10,000 Thursday to be split between the American Red Cross in Grayson, Salvation Army in Sherman and city of Sherman. The money, he said, is ear-marked for relief efforts for those affected by Harvey.