Thirteen Z petrol stations now out of 95
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Thirteen Z Energy service stations are out of 95 octane petrol as a result of the ruptured Marsden Pt fuel pipeline, the company says.
This morning just four Z stations were out of the premium fuel, but this afternoon it said that number had more than tripled.
Z Energy has been prioritising trucking 91 octane and diesel from its plants elsewhere in the country as these are used by the majority of motorists.
"As a result of this deliberate focus, a few service stations have run out 95 octane petrol. However, all grades of fuel are being trucked into the city and sites will be replenished soon," the company said in a statement.
At this stage, only Z service stations have reported running out of fuel as a result of the incident, which has been causing havoc in the aviation industry with scores of flights in and out of Auckland Airport cancelled, delayed or diverted.
Auckland Caltex stations, which are operated as franchises owned by Z, do not appear to be affected by the shortage at this stage. The 12 stations contacted by the Herald said they were all adequately stocked with 95, however, the St Heliers station did not receive its 95 delivery today but this was due to arrive tomorrow. A staff member said it would likely run out of 95 otherwise.
BP spokeswoman Leigh Taylor said the company continued to have all grades of fuel available.
She said if there were to be any shortages they would be "intermittent and short-lived".
BP was bringing in fuel to Auckland from other parts of the country.
Mobil Oil New Zealand managing director Andrew McNaught said it did not have any supply issues or stock outages for ground fuel in the Auckland region.
Mobil currently represents the customers of Refining New Zealand, which runs Marsden Pt.
McNaught said yesterday the industry was making every effort to maintain supplies throughout New Zealand, including bolstering trucking resources to deliver petrol and diesel into Auckland from alternative locations such as Mt Maunganui.
He was confident that trucks could bring in enough fuel from the refinery in Whangarei, and fuel terminals at Mt Maunganui.
"The refinery is continuing to produce fuel and two dedicated coastal shipping vessels have full delivery programmes of petrol, diesel, jet fuel and marine fuel oil into New Zealand ports," he said.
Meanwhile Air NZ has announced that long haul flights out of Auckland will fill up in Wellington first.
A Boeing 777-200 aircraft will operate to Wellington on Tuesday afternoon with just the pilots on board in order to fill up and return to Auckland in preparation for further long haul flights.
Air New Zealand chief operations integrity and standards officer Captain David Morgan says this was to accommodate declining supplies in the Pacific.
"On that basis, we are switching to a different mode of operation whereby Wellington, supplemented by Australia and those Pacific destinations able to support fuel uplifts, will be used to source the extra fuel required to maintain scheduled services.
National leader Bill English confirmed government workers had been told to curb their travel.
"Which shouldn't be too difficult. You are looking here about a period of a week at most. They can do meetings by video and help accommodate the public by putting off travel."
Asked about his own campaign, English said most of his MPs were currently in their electorates and he had advised them not to do any unnecessary travel.
English said he would receive a full update on the fuel situation after arriving back in Wellington tonight.
This morning he met with the chief executive of the Department of Prime Minister of Cabinet, the acting chief of Defence Force and the acting chief executive of Mbie.
"We are taking the issue very seriously, we don't want travellers to be inconvenienced in this way... I'm advised around 70 per cent of previously scheduled flights are continuing."
English said work on restoring the pipeline was proceeding as planned and the deadline for completion was still sometime between Sunday afternoon and Tuesday afternoon of next week.
On some petrol stations running out of 95 petrol, English said there was no significant risk to fuel availability for trucks and cars - and certainly no reason for panic buying.
Asked if the event highlighted the vulnerability of New Zealand's infrastructure, English said work had been done to improve key infrastructure.
"We are getting good at dealing with this stuff, and I'm quite confident... the combination of efforts... most people will still be able to travel.
"Afterwards there will be a discussion, inevitably, about whether they have got the right amount of storage or need another pipe."
Energy Minister Judith Collins said government efforts continued to try and deal with disruption caused by the ruptured pipe - including allowed fuel tankers to use bus and special transit lanes.
"While air travel will continue to be affected until the pipeline is fully operational, the fuel industry has advised government that impacts on petrol and diesel supply for motorists are minimal."
Collins said NZDF had cut back on its jet fuel demands and were helping find ways to transport fuel around the country.
That could include providing 20 tanker drivers and two trucks to move fuel.
NZTA was also fast-tracking permits to allow fuel tankers carry loads that were 15 per cent heavier. Other restrictions which could be eased included removing restrictions on where fuel could be delivered and allowing fuel tankers to use bus and transit lanes.
She said immigration NZ had also been brought in to help those whose visas would expire due to postponed or cancelled flights.
Automobile Association petrol prices spokesman Mark Stockdale said the fuel shortage shouldn't hit motorists in the pocket at this stage.
"This shouldn't really have an impact on price. Obviously there is a logistical impact to the industry and they'll incur some costs but that shouldn't be passed on to the motorist," he said.
"At this stage we don't have any particular concerns about automotive. Although at this stage it remains to be seen over the next few days what transpires. We'll just wait and see what happens with the fuel companies."
Stockdale said vehicles that use high-grade 95 petrol could damage their engines by using lower-grade 91, however, as a one-off "you can get away with it, but don't make a habit of it".
Affected Z Energy service stations
Z Green Bay
Z Royal Oak
Z Sylvia Park
Z Glen Park
Z Henderson Valley
Z Hunters Corner
Z Kepa Rd