Petro-Canada Refinery Problems Cause Gas Shortage

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Petro-Canada Refinery Problems Cause Gas Shortage

By W.B. King

CALGARY, Alberta -- Due to the unexpected shutdown of a unit at its Edmonton, Alberta, refinery, Petro-Canada, the country’s second-largest refiner, announced certain filling stations in Alberta and British Columbia may run out of gasoline.

Spokesperson Kelli Stevens told CSNews Online the refinery experienced severe production problems due to the closing of catalytic cracking unit, which is a gasoline-production equipment piece. "We’re looking to get back and operational as quickly as possible," she said.

While areas of Alberta and British Columbia will have "temporary run outs" and "delivery reduced rates," Stevens said the company will do its best to deliver normal volumes to its emergency use customers, such as hospital and state agencies, as well as remote locations with no other means of receiving gasoline.

"There will be an inconvenience factor, but we are spreading it as sparingly and equitably as possible," Stevens told CSNews Online.

When asked for a timeframe, Stevens said "We are looking at weeks not days. There is no hard time line and we are continuing to further assess the situation."

Stevens confirmed the equipment failure is unrelated to a $2.07 billion modification project nearing completion at the plant. Beginning this month, sections of the refinery were scheduled to be shuttered for approximately two months, with the plant running on crude extracted from Alberta's oil sands.

Last month, output at the refinery was cut last month because of a water-boiler equipment problem. The plant is capable of processing 135,000 barrels a day. Imperial Oil Ltd. of Calgary is Canada’s largest refiner.
In other Petro-Canada news, Petro-Canada and the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) recently honored Canada’s Olympic coaches at the Coaches Recognition Evening at Canada Olympic House.

After a successful outing in Salt Lake City in 2002, this marked the second time the event transpired. "We believe in dreaming big and dreaming big means big support," Steven Keith, Petro-Canada’s Director of Olympic and Community Partnerships, said in a released statement.

"We are pleased to support Canada's coaches through the Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Awards, which are awarded annually to coaches of medal-winning athletes. The Coaches Recognition Evening is another opportunity for us to pay tribute to coaches and their contribution to Canadian sport."

As the exclusive national oil and gas partner of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Petro-Canada’s support enables young athletes across Canada to turns dreams of Olympic glory into reality.

"CAC is pleased to have Petro-Canada as a partner in coaching excellence. Since 2000, their ongoing support has enabled us to recognize Canada's best coaches for their passion and dedication," John Bales, CAC’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a released statement. "Their support of coaches is a reflection of their commitment to the Canadian sport system and the Olympic Movement."