TAMPA, FL (March 18) – Family and friends arriving in Florida to escape winter weather may find a few gasoline stations without fuel, particularly in Central Florida near Orlando.
"There has been a somewhat imperfect storm of events that have led to wholesale tightness in fuel, and in some cases, closed stations or at least sporadic outages, particularly for the unbranded gasoline c-stores like 7-11 and Circle-K," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.
Florida is working with 'hand-to-mouth' gasoline inventories right now while the state transitions to "summer blend" gasoline. That process still has another 40 days to go. At the same time, there have been unconfirmed reports of a few cargoes of gasoline that were delayed moving from Houston or New Orleans to Tampa due to fog in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ethanol supply and prices, transportation logistics, and flat demand are also being blamed for the shortage.