Should We Expect a Diesel Shortage in 2022?

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A diesel sign above the sale price on a fuel pump.

The news headlines regularly blast information about a diesel shortage. It’s a very real concern for Americans. For RVers who drive diesel engine trucks or motorhomes, experiencing a diesel shortage in 2022 isn’t on their list of plans. We want to travel, see new places, and experience new things. We don’t want to feel the pinch of rationing or worry about whether or not a fuel station will have diesel the next time we have to fill up.

Let’s take a closer look at the possibility of a diesel shortage in 2022 and how we can all prepare.

Is There a Shortage on Diesel?

Although you may not realize it, if you don’t drive a diesel truck or motorhome, there is a shortage of diesel in America. This may result in higher prices at the pump and rationing at some truck stops. While traveling, you may notice long lines at certain fuel stations. This is probably because they have fuel, whereas another station nearby has run out.

A diesel fuel pump looks worn down and old at an empty gas station.

Why Is There a Fuel Shortage in the US?

There probably isn’t just one reason for the diesel fuel shortage. One cause is the deep freeze that hit Texas in 2021. Many refineries shut down or reduced production. Since Texas is the largest oil-producing state in America, this is likely one reason.

Another reason could be the shortage of drivers for fuel haulers. Companies are finding it difficult to hire drivers. So, they’re unable to keep up with the demands for fuel. Yet, another reason could be the increased pressure oil-producing companies feel to turn to clean energy.

Why Is Diesel Being Rationed? 

Some fuel stations aren’t receiving the supply they need. As a result, they have to ration diesel fuel when truckers stop to fill up. Fuel stations don’t want a diesel shortage. So by rationing the amount each person can take, the fuel stations can serve more people.

Will There Be a Gasoline Shortage Too?

Oil prices surged in 2021, and although there isn’t a worldwide shortage of fuel, the demand is higher than the current production. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) expected the global demand to rise 100.8 million barrels per day in 2022, while daily production only increased 400,000 barrels.

As the shortage of truck drivers continues, there may be a real threat of a gasoline shortage as well. With no drivers to deliver the fuel haulers, fuel stations won’t have the supply they’ve had in the past.

Plus, with the increased focus on clean energy, oil-producing companies are feeling the screws tighten. So, not only is a diesel shortage a reality, but a gasoline shortage could be in the future.

A man holds a gas pump with a drop of fuel at the end.

How Should I Prepare For a Diesel Shortage?

The main way to prepare for a diesel or gasoline shortage is to keep your vehicle topped off. If there is a temporary shortage, then you’ll have a full tank of fuel for several days.

If you can travel less frequently, this will help conserve fuel. Stay in the same location for longer periods. If you’re used to traveling every week or so, try to reduce your traveling to only once or twice a week.

Finally, if reducing your traveling isn’t possible, you can store fuel in appropriate containers. Just make sure to use a date sticker so you know when the fuel goes bad. When stored in containers, diesel only has a healthy life of three to six months.

Pro Tip: If you do have to stock up on diesel, click here to check out ways you can save with the EFS fuel card!

What Is the Future of Diesel Fuel?

Because there are many factors causing a diesel shortage, we aren’t waiting for one thing to change or one situation to improve. Transport companies need to hire drivers who will deliver the fuel to stations. Oil-producing companies need to increase their daily production to meet drivers’ demands. 

So what’s the future of diesel fuel? We aren’t going to run out, but we may be facing additional rationing. We may also have to change our driving habits in order to conserve fuel, which means less traveling. But just as shortages in the past didn’t last forever, this one won’t either.

Have you personally felt the crisis of the diesel shortage?

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