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Shortage at some Shell gas pumps after delay at refinery

Customers fuel up at a Shell gas station in Westminster, Colorado October 30, 2008.

RICK WILKING/REUTERS/RICK WILKING/REUTERS

Some Shell stations in southern Ontario are running low on gas after a maintenance delay at an oil refinery.

A Shell Canada spokesman says maintenance work at the company's Sarnia, Ont., oil refinery took a week longer than expected, triggering a shortage that's hitting Shell stations as far away as Toronto.

Jeff Gabert says Shell also had trouble buying gas from fuel markets in Ontario and the northeast United States.

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He says an upgrade and closure at two other refineries may also be contributing to the shortage.

A handful of stations in east Toronto say they are out of regular gas, though at least one station still had premium-grade gas available.

Mr. Gabert says refinery maintenance delays aren't unheard of, but the tight supply in fuel markets is unusual.

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