NORTH TEXAS (CBS11) – Gas stations in North Texas have plenty of gas to go around, but your choice of which grade to buy in some cases is down to just one.
Stations are running out of premium and mid-grade gas, as refineries restart and focus on producing the regular grade most drivers buy.
In one intersection in Arlington Tuesday afternoon, pricing signs for higher grades were blank at a QuikTrip, Valero and Mobile. Stations in Fort Worth, Hurst, Bedford and Euless also had signs taped over the two grades, saying they were unavailable.
A spokesman for QuikTrip said supply for the higher grades was “thin,” but expected to get better by the day.
Paul Harden with the Texas Food and Fuel Association explained some smaller, independently owned stations may see longer waits for new supply, if they don’t have regularly scheduled new deliveries.
Bud Weinstein, an economist for SMU’s Maguire Energy Institute, said as refineries come back online after Hurricane Harvey and Irma, their goal is to push regular gas through their system because that’s what most drivers use in their vehicles.
“I suspect within another week, or two weeks at the outset, there will be plenty of gasoline and diesel available at all grades,” he said.
Harden said the panic run on gas two weeks ago, and this new supply shortage does have the potential to hurt some retailers. People could change buying habits based on where they find supply.
At Cool Air Automotive in North Richland Hills, Wayne Herndon said using lower grade fuel in a car that requires premium has the potential to do damage over time. Up to about a 1,000 miles of driving though, he said it shouldn’t be a problem.
“You can go to the local parts store and you can get an octane booster,” he said. “Which is basically, you put a ratio of that booster in a tank of gas, and you bring the octane back up in the normal range for premium fuel.”