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Ohio refinery shutdowns could trigger diesel shortages in several states


A month-long shutdown of two refineries is expected to result in diesel fuel supply problems in several states, including Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana.

Oil refineries Husky Marketing and Supply Company in Lima, Ohio and Marathon Petroleum in Ironton, Ohio, both recently suspended operations for preventative maintenance, according to a November 15 memo issued by the City of Cincinnati.

From the memo:

“The maintenance has caused the refineries to slow or completely stop production, impacting suppliers who serve private and government clients in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana, including the City of Cincinnati’s supplier. While preventative maintenance is a routine occurrence typically performed on a yearly or biyearly basis, concurrent shutdowns at these refineries are unprecedented and were unexpected. An industry-wide labor shortage has also exacerbated supply chain pressure and impacted the cost of fuel.”

This month, Ohio truck stops have reportedly struggled to maintain diesel fuel supplies.

The City of Cincinnati says that their existing reserve of diesel fuel is 25% below the one-month supply that is typically on hand for emergencies.

Officials in Cincinnati are reacting to the diesel shortage by prioritizing services that impact health and safety, including the city fire department as well as trash and snow removal.

In order to conserve diesel, Cincinnati officials are implementing the following measures effective immediately:

  • The use of diesel fuel related to any parks and recreation functions must be discontinued unless it impacts healthy and safety.
  • Stop all non-essential travel in vehicles that use diesel fuel.
  • Consolidate crews in fewer vehicles or utilize non-diesel vehicles for any essential transport.

Diesel production in Ohio is expected to return to normal levels by the end of 2021.

Fuel supply issues have been top of mind for many members of the trucking industry in 2021.

In November, diesel supply issues prompted fuel rationing at several trucks stops in Arizona and New Mexico. As of Friday morning, TravelCenters of America is limiting diesel fuel purchases to 60 gallons at the following locations:

  • TA Gallup, New Mexico
  • TA Santa Rosa, New Mexico
  • TA Moriarty, New Mexico
  • TA Holbrook, Arizona

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