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Panicked gas station customers last night in Saltillo. Panicked gas station customers last night in Saltillo.

Gas shortage hits Coahuila capital; panic buying blamed

Social media rumors spark motorists' rush on gas stations

At least 20 gas stations in Saltillo, Coahuila, were left without fuel earlier today due to panic buying triggered by rumors of fuel shortages.

Miguel Dainitín Ferreira, president of the National Organization of Petroleum Distributors (Onexpo), blamed the rush to buy fuel on information posted to social networks and asked consumers not to change their refueling habits to avoid prolonging the situation.

He indicated that a regional distribution center supplies 145 gas stations, most of which did not experience interruptions in supply. Those that did were mostly in northern Saltillo and were only affected for a matter of hours.

Dainitín said Coahuila and specifically Saltillo are located close to the region’s oil refinery, which is why the state has not faced a fuel shortage crisis as in Tamaulipas. He said there have been no reports of supply interruptions in the north and central parts of the state.

Shortages are a result of President López Obrador’s closure of Pemex pipelines, meaning that for markets like Saltillo fuel must be transported by truck.

“It slows everything down, especially given that right now the demand is higher than normal because of the reopening of schools, and the little that is being delivered is not enough to maintain reserves.”

Dainitín also explained that the cost of transporting fuel over land is 14 times more expensive than pipelines, a cost that the federal government has absorbed until now.

Onexpo has asked that more tanker trucks be put into service while pipelines remain closed.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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