MARICOPA — A mysterious gasoline shortage has plagued Pinal County drivers this past week as some gas stations sold completely out of fuel and others suffered major shortages of mid-grade and premium gasoline.
The Fry’s fuel pumps located on Pinal Avenue in Casa Grande were sold out of mid-level and premium gasoline on Monday, while the Circle K on Honeycutt Road in Maricopa had to temporarily shut its pumps down and cordon them off as the fuel ran out.
Other gas stations in Maricopa seemed unperturbed by a shortage including the Chevron, QuikTrip and two other Circle K locations — one on Smith-Enke Road and the other on Bowlin Road, which all reported normal operations.
Commuters discussed the scarcity of the fuel on Facebook, where some speculated the winter storms could have contributed to the shortage.
“Gas!” said one Maricopan, “if you need it, better go get it. Circle K on Honeycutt only has premium left (and) Fry's is the same. Apparently we have a shortage. Oh, and the price went up 60 cents over the last two days.”
Prices for gasoline had a stark increase in the last two weeks, moving from an average of $2.41 in Arizona on Feb. 11 to $3.09 on March 1. An employee at the local QuikTrip said it had been unaffected by any shortages and added it had the most competitive price at $2.99 a gallon.
As of Monday afternoon, the Honeycutt Circle K location was back online and running normally. Meanwhile, the Fry’s in Casa Grande anticipated another shipment of mid-level and premium gas by Monday night.
Spokesperson for AAA Aldo Vasquez told PinalCentral on Monday, "Currently, we are not experiencing a gas shortage in Arizona."
He later added on Wednesday, "There is a problem with clean burning gasoline in Maricopa County. This may have stemmed from issues related to West Texas refinery shutdowns but the issue should not be persistent."
Also, there are problems with reformulated premium gasoline in the Dallas metroplex area."
Vasquez told PinalCentral commuters can anticipate more shipments of gasoline by Friday.