CSPAN 12/23 on Y2K & Gas Stationsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
ENERGY DEPARTMENT LIVE on C-SPAN at 10:30am ET, 12/23/1999 Service Station Preparedness for Y2K Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, Steve Hayes, AAA
-- Sheri (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 22, 1999
Just in case you missed it below...
Well, here you have some rather interesting contingency plans. This caught a lot of people by surprise today. Here's the skinny, the industry pretty much knows that the irresponsible media has been telling people for months "Keep your tank full" "you might want to fill up the old tank" blah blah blah. The bank industry has been pretty vigilant about trying to avoid bank runs, but the oil industry has always been a favorite target. What this is telling you is that regardless of any Y2K problems, there probably WILL be a supply crunch. This crunch will be caused by a great number of people rushing out to fill up the tanks between X-mas and New Years. It's not that the industry can't meet normal demand, it's that we can't meet abnormal demand, and it's a fairly low threshold given the JIT constraints. Interestingly, BPA is taking a very proactive approach with their Jobbers and Dealers (folks who operate stations under the BPA name and flag). Good for them for having the stones to be proactive. This article probably won't appear in your local paper as it came from OPIS. I recommend OPIS to anyone who follows the oil industry. They are an excellent ear to the markets. For educational and research purposes only:
***BP AMOCO INSTALLS Y2K CONTINGENCY PLANS The signs that BP Amoco jobbers and dealers received this week are a bit chilling and evoke some of the worst memories of the Nixon and Carter presidential administrations. Examples: "Station Temporarily Out of Fuel"
"Pumps Are Out of Order, Store is Open"
"Station Temporarily Closed"
But there are also some new placards that illustrate the reliance that gasoline retailing now has on technology, thanks to automated sales:
"Closed Due to Technical Difficulties - We Will Reopen Soon"
"Pay at Pump Not Available - Please Pay Inside After Pumping"
"Cash Only For Fuel Sales"
BP Amoco included the signs in a special Y2K preparation package that was sent out to its wholesale and retail marketers across the country last week.
The company says that they are hopeful that because of their preparation, Y2K will be a "non-event" but they are have put together specific instructions and checklists so that retailers can cover events which range from the occasional credit card snafu to the orderly shutdown of stations in an emergency.
Although the information packages didn't reach marketers until this week, some of the outlines are surprisingly thorough. They even define what it means to be "on call" - - "in a position to report to work" and "sober" within 35 miles of a retail site, with phones, pagers and cell phones working and turned on.
A letter to marketers, BP Amoco cites customer research which indicates that 20-40% of consumers will fill their auto gas tanks in advance of January 1 due to Y2K. The company calculates that this surge could boost daily demand by 20-50% over Dec. 27-31 historical levels. Such a boost could cause some temporary supply problems, BP Amoco acknowledges.
The company also appears worried about a likely demand lull early in Year 2000. If consumers accelerate their retail gas purchases, consumer demand will slack off during the first days of January 2000, with offtake returning to normal around January 3-4.
Many of the suggestions for marketers are geared toward dealing with the problems that would come with data management outages. BP Amoco has arranged for an extra supply of paper credit card slips and urges that all marketers have the slips on hand in case processing systems aren't functioning. The company will waiver the paper ticket fee for system wide outages, but will not dismiss the charge if the problems are due to Y2K non-compliant equipment on the marketer end. Additionally, BP Amoco laid out many other features of its Y2K plan. Among the highlights:
- Marketers are urged to increase inventories of distillate, midgrade and premium well in advance of December 27. They suggest this action so that resellers can focus on unleaded regular deliveries during the peak period of December 27-31. They add that marketers should check with their financial advisors before building stocks, since high year end inventories can have unexpected tax consequences for some businesses.
- After the peak period, marketers are urged to reduce inventories to normal target ranges.
- A special gasoline inventory management system will be in place at all proprietary terminals during the Dec. 20-January 3 period. BP Amoco says it will be closely monitoring supply during the period. "Should it be necessary to allocate, we will treat all channels of trade consistently and equally based on historical levels of volume."
- Field personnel will be on call from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2 to ensure all operations are normal or to intervene in any problem. BP Amoco will have an overstaffed help desk on December 31 and January 1 to handle dealer and jobber problems.
- All BP Amoco terminals will be closed from 10 P.M. on December 31 until 2 A.M. on January 1. The terminals will return to normal weekend and holiday schedules for the remainder of the weekend.
There is no mention of any penalty for overliftings, but most marketers suspect that surcharges may be installed if the company does implement a late December allocation. BP Amoco said little about price, but they did include a sample document which provides "what to do if?" suggestions for branded locations. In the event of an unleaded regular outage, the document recommends that retailers "continue to sell other fuel grades at their posted price. (Do not reduce the price of Mid-grade or Super to RUL price.)" - Tom Kloza,
Copyright 1999, Oil Price Information Service.
-- Gordon (email@example.com), December 22, 1999.
lemme guess this one in advance.....
Most Gas Stations are Y2K-ready, plus they have many days of fuel in their tanks.
However....there could be problems if credit card companies have trouble or if the phone lines go down, or if the power goes out.....
pass the buck up the chain...
-- plonk! (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 22, 1999.