Rumored national diesel shortage adds stress to local suppliers
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Rumors of a nationwide diesel shortage are adding pressure on fuel suppliers in the tri-state region to meet demand ahead of the winter season.
Oliver Fuels and Oil has been in business since 1950. Owner Jill Oliver said a majority of their customer base is construction companies and municipalities in southern West Virginia.
However, in recent weeks, the business has been seeing a spike in a different type of phone call. Oliver said there has been an uptick in potential buyers from out of her primary customer area and out of state.
“People have been calling a lot from all over the state asking for fuel tanks for storage to stockpile. We’ve been having a lot of panic buying,” she said.
She said, normally, sales to individuals and families make up a smaller portion of the business.
“We’re trying to help people when we can, but we’ve got to take care of our regulars,” she said. “We’ve got to make sure that the customers that we have like nursing homes and things like that are taken care of first and foremost.”
Oliver went on to say, “I don’t know what’s going to happen this winter when people that heat their homes with diesel fuel, I don’t know what they’re gonna do this winter when they need diesel to heat their home. And it’s going to be incredibly expensive and difficult to get.”
The Energy Information Administration says reserves for diesel are at their lowest levels since 2008. They also say demand spikes at this time every year.
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