Report: I-80 stations in Wyoming rationing diesel fuel

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A shortage of diesel fuel has vendors along Wyoming’s Interstate 80 corridor rationing sales, the Associated Press reported Monday, Aug. 21. Some stations reportedly are limiting sales to 50-75 gallons a customer, and some are putting certain pumps off limits altogether.

Refiners say the new federal requirement for ultra-low-sulfur diesel has led to a shortage that could continue for some time. Refineries were required to meet the low-sulfur standards June 1, and retailers must comply by mid-October. “Certainly it’s that (diesel conversion), along with strong demand because of all the drilling, commercial and industrial demand for diesel,” Bud Blackmore, senior vice president of marketing for Sinclair Oil Corp., told the AP. Sinclair’s two Wyoming refineries are running at capacity, Blackmore said.

Doug Aron, vice president of corporate finance for Frontier Oil Corp., told the AP that his company’s refinery in Cheyenne is producing diesel at full capacity, turning out a daily 17,000 barrels of ULSD. Most of it is distributed along the I-80 corridor, Aron said, but not every refinery in the area has made a full conversion to ULSD production. “The process to make ultra-low-sulfur diesel took us several years of planning,” Aron told the AP. “And the actual construction can’t just happen overnight.”

Gov. Dave Freudenthal last week joined governors from Colorado and Nebraska in calling for relaxed restrictions on how many hours a day fuel truckers may log. “This action is intended to respond to the diesel shortage and make it possible for both the agricultural community as well as the transportation community to continue to do their jobs notwithstanding the delays in receiving fuel,” Freudenthal said in a prepared statement.