Minnesota experiencing top-grade diesel shortage

| 10/27/2006

Some truckers and trucking companies are hoping they aren't left in the cold because of a diesel fuel shortage in Minnesota, The Associated Press has reported.

Minnesota motor carriers view the shortage of top-grade diesel as "short-term," The AP reported, but the rollout of blended winter grades could take longer to reach retailers than it did in 2005.

Officials from the Minnesota Trucking Association said the shortage has been brought on in part by increased farm use during the harvest season and the rollout of winter-grade diesel from the refineries, The AP reported.

A source with a large Minnesota motor carrier told Land Line Magazine that a shortage at this stage is also due to the rollout of ultra-low sulfur diesel.

Retail diesel has been required to be at least 80 percent ULSD since Oct. 15.

The Minnesota carrier told Land Line that the pipelines still contain residue from the lower-grade diesel sold prior to Oct. 15. Top-grade fuel has to meet a certain standard, and with the residue in some refinery pipelines, that standard might not be being met, the source said.

There's plenty of lower-grade diesel for winter blending, just not higher-grade diesel, he said.

Rochester, Mankato and Winona were affected this week with depleted supplies, according to The AP.

- By David Tanner, staff writer