If you have been in the Phoenix area the past tree weeks, you may have noticed something a bit strange while attempting to put gas in your car. Several Circle K’s are filled with pumps that aren’t pumping. An “out of service” yellow plastic bag has been placed over every single pump. “Yikes, what a mess”, you might think as you drive to the next gas station. The thing is… you may run into the same problem there too.
Seasonal gas price increases in Phoenix are actually normal. Spring and summer prices increase a bit, but usually not to the extent they are now. And gas stations being completely out of gas… that is new for us. So, where is all the gas? A few problems have managed to occur at the same time, providing this unforeseen shortage at Circle K convenience stores. First of all, there are some Circle K refinery outages. Second of all, storms in the Midwest have created a shortage of ethanol, a gasoline additive. Due to these storms, several ethanol plants, as well as railroads that normally serve them are out of commission.
Because of this gas shortage, other stations have been able to push price increases even further than they usually do this time of year. In just the last four weeks prices have been pushed upwards of 45 cents per gallon. Prices have increased all over the United States, but the Phoenix area has been hit extra hard due to the refinery shut downs. Gas prices have increased up to a few cents per day!
Circle K is working to address the issue, which has been noticeable for the past three weeks in Phoenix. Frys grocery gas pumps have also been effected, but not to the same degree. A few Shell stations have been out of gas as well, providing only the inside convenience store items for sale along with Circle K stores. The problem is projected to be resolved, at least somewhat within about a week. Phoenix gas prices will then level out and match the national seasonal increases, per usual. This problem is following the simple rules of supply and demand.
If you are in the Phoenix area, don’t let your gas tank get very low before you re-fuel, as you may need to try a few gas stations before you find one with gas available. If your normal gas stop involves a Circle K, you may need to find a temporary alternative. If you happen to stop for snacks and see pumps working, think about fueling up even if your gas tank is half full.
For info on when this problem should be solved visit https://www.abc15.com/news/state/circle-k-confirms-some-gas-stations-have-run-out-of-fuel