Pumps dry after refinery slowdown

Posted: Friday, August 22, 2008

FAIRBANKS - At least one Fairbanks area gasoline station was shut down this week after an operations slowdown at Flint Hills Resources' North Pole refinery.

Pumps at the Riverview Quick Stop were closed Wednesday morning after tanks of unleaded gas ran empty.

Station manager Lois Hein said supplies had run dry, and she was told the slowdown was cutting off smaller stations like the Badger Road business.

Hein said she called two fuel suppliers, and learned they couldn't deliver because they weren't getting a supply from the refinery.

Jeff Cook, a spokesman for Flint Hills Resources Alaska, said the refinery is running, but is experiencing operational problems that affect gasoline production. Flint Hills Resources Alaska is a subsidiary of Wichita, Kansas-based Flint Hills Resources, which is owned by Koch Industries.

The North Pole refinery is working on resolving those issues, Cook said.

"We are attempting to secure additional gasoline supply from other sources to help meet demand," he said.

Two major bulk suppliers, Big State Logistics and Alaska Petroleum, get most of their unleaded gasoline from the refinery and retail the product throughout the state. Officials with the companies said the refinery problems pinched supplies late last week, but they were told the slowdown would not last long.

Rob Chambers with Big State Logistics said the company will truck gas north from Anchorage and that probably will add to costs.

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