National Propane Shortage And How It's Affecting The QCA - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

National Propane Shortage And How It's Affecting The QCA

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One propane delivery driver said this is one of the coldest and hardest years he can remember in the business. 

"It's not a good year for anybody, I don't care what kind of budget you're on, it's going to hurt," said Blick & Blick Oil Inc. Employee Bob Parker. "No, it's not normal and I would say, yeah, this is probably the worst that I can remember."

Parker has been delivering and filling propane tanks for 22 and a half years. With the shortage and high cost of propane nationwide, he said this year is going to be tough one for everybody and it may only get worse. But, Parker said no one in our area should worry about not getting fuel. 

Blick & Blick Oil Inc. said they're currently limited to how much propane they can give to customers. 

"We're short-filling tanks, we'll catch back up," said Vice President and Propane Manager of Blick & Blick Oil Inc. Roger Maynard. "Rather than go out and fill a large container for a customer beyond what they can reasonably use this year, we may help them decide to put a little less in their fuel tank right now and kind of ride through the winter."

That's because their supplier is only allocating so much propane to them. Maynard said there's a lot of reasons for this. He said having a harsh winter, high agricultural demands and exporting propane to other countries were the three biggest issues.

"The inventories this year built very...I'll say anemic," said Maynard. 

Farmers use propane to dry their crops and since it was a late planting season there wasn't a lot of time in between to build up propane reserves for the winter. 

Blick & Blick Oil Inc. is allowing homes to get a maximum of 200 gallons of propane at a time which can last 5 to 6 weeks. 

"Put on a sweater, if you're on propane, turn the thermostat down," said Maynard. "Again, the market price of gas is up."

Blick & Blick Oil Inc. said suppliers are not allocating 100% of what they need and they've gone as far as St. Louis to get more propane for their customers.

Right now Parker said propane is averaging about $2.37 per gallon. Last year at this time, it was around 70 cents less at $1.60 per gallon.