Oil shortage causes trouble for Glenwood truck stop | PostIndependent.com

Oil shortage causes trouble for Glenwood truck stop

An oil situation so problematic that both Saudi Arabia and Mexico have offered aid to the U.S. is having ramifications even in Glenwood Springs.Thanks to a problem in Alaska, the Tomahawk Truck Stop in West Glenwood, has seen its prices go up and its business slack off.”Within two days, (the price of gas is) already up, and they’re anticipating it’ll go up another 20 cents,” said Delia Heller, Tomahawk’s general manager.”It’s all because of what happened in Alaska,” said Heller.Heller said the truck stop is the only stop between Grand Junction and Denver for big-riggers.What happened in Alaska was that British Petroleum, one of the largest suppliers of crude oil in the world, was forced to shut down production at its Prudhoe oil field because of rust in its transit pipes. BP spokesmen said that it could be weeks or even months before the field was up and running again.The result is that the U.S.’s oil supply has been cut by roughly 8 percent, and the price of oil has jumped up yet again. On Monday, Brent Crude was trading in London at $78.64 before dropping back down on Tuesday to $77.64.That 8 percent is putting a hurt on truckers and truck stops all over the country, even in Glenwood. Heller said she’s not sure exactly how much less than her typical 7,000-10,000 gallon daily delivery to expect, but she said she knows it’ll go down, and so will her profits.”Because of the shortage, many truckers are telling each other to fuel up before they get to Colorado,” said Heller. “That’s affecting our business, and it’ll probably drop even more.”By Tuesday afternoon, a gallon of diesel was selling for $3.49, well above what most truckers are used to paying.In addition, many areas of the country have begun rationing their sales so they won’t run completely out of fuel. Many truck stops in Denver are rationing their diesel out at 50 gallons at a time, and Heller said she’d heard that Nebraska rations were being enforced at 75 gallons per truck. A semi wouldn’t even be able to get from Glenwood to Denver on 50 gallons of diesel, said Heller.So the truckers are communicating to each other where there are restrictions on fueling and where there aren’t. Most big rigs have a large enough fuel tank that they can drive through several states without having to refuel, so by and large, the matter of where they refuel is up to them.”With a 300-gallon tank, they can drive from Denver all the way to California,” said Heller.The reason big-rig truck drivers don’t just stop off at any old gas station that sells diesel fuel is because most of those don’t take truckers’ cards. Truckers’ cards are kind of like credit cards – a trucking company opens an account with a financial institution, cards are issued to all their drivers, and they’re used to pay for gas at stations like Tomahawk, who get the vast majority of their business from truckers.If a trucker needed fuel and was nowhere near a truck stop, he’d have to pay for the gas out of his own pocket and then try and settle up with his employer after the fact.And though there haven’t been any restrictions placed yet on how much diesel Tomahawk is allowed to dispense, Heller said even just the prices have many truckers aggravated.Contact John Schroyer: 945-8515, ext. 529jschroyer@postindependent.com

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