North Dakota LPG delivery rules relaxed because of shortage

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has allowed extra hours for drivers to deliver propane in the US state – because of “extremely low inventories”.

The supply situation is the result of market disruptions caused by hurricanes and high-demand by farmers who need propane to fuel dryers for late harvested grain.

Mike Rud, Executive Director of the North Dakota Propane Gas Association, told the Press Association it was a “proactive move”.

He said it’s a priority to make sure customers have the necessary fuel should there be a cold snap and a repeat of what happened in 2013-2014 when there were extreme shortages of propane across 30 states and prices skyrocketed.

The current situation affects about a half-dozen states in the upper midwest, including North Dakota. The waiver is in effect for 30 days.

In 2014 national propane stocks in the U.S. plummeted 45% from January 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the average national retail price per gallon shot up to a then record $4.01, an increase of 75% over the same time period.

The strain on propane supply was caused by a number of events. According to the National Propane Gas Association, the crisis is a result of a 2013 rise in U.S. propane exports, increased agricultural demand during the crop drying season, rail rerouting that stalled Canadian imports, and repairs on the Canadian Cochin pipeline that passes through the United States en route from Alberta to Ontario.

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