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Will There Be A Diesel Shortage?


Stylized image of truck, tractor trailer, and motorhome at a gas station. - diesel shortage
If your RV (or tow vehicle) runs on diesel, you can expect to pay higher prices at the pump until supplies improve.

Will There Be A Diesel Shortage?

As we move into the holiday season, the world is facing more and more supply chain issues and shortages. Empty shelves and rising prices are becoming a familiar site for many in North America. And now, a new shortage is looming: a shortage of diesel fuel.

US stockpiles of diesel fuel currently sit at a 20-year low. This comes at a time when Americans are doing extensive online shopping and the supply chain is struggling to keep up. And indeed, it’s not even the only diesel fuel shortage currently developing; propane stockpiles are also dwindling.

But does that mean there’s really a diesel shortage? And how will it affect you?

Is there a diesel shortage in 2022?

Although not everyone is feeling it, in many places at home and abroad, there is definitely a diesel shortage. Many truck stops in Ohio and the American Southwest are already feeling the squeeze at the pumps. Here, there are already limits on how many gallons customers can purchase. Some truck stops are even shutting down for the day because supplies have run out. 

In China, the second-largest user of diesel after the US, is also experiencing fuel supply issues. Long waits for diesel and concerns about supplies have China tapping its fuel reserves. 

All these facts together tell us that, yes, there is a diesel shortage happening. And with the holiday shopping season beginning and the supply chain already struggling, things will likely get worse before they get better. 

Why is there a shortage in diesel fuel?

The exact causes of the diesel shortage are not entirely clear. Some possible causes include:

  • Decreased diesel production
  • Too few drivers for fuel haulers
  • Increased demand that supply can’t meet

One likely culprit for production shortages is the deep freeze that hit Texas earlier this year. Texas is the US’s largest oil-producing state, with over 4.6 million barrels produced per day. Texas is also home to many of the nation’s top diesel refineries. 

Issues caused by the freeze greatly reduced production, causing many refineries to shut down or heavily reduce production. This greatly impacted diesel stockpiles, and we’re likely feeling delayed effects from that now. 

The so-called “Great Resignation” could also be contributing. As unprecedented numbers of Americans quit their jobs, employers are struggling to fill positions. And as they struggle to hire and keep drivers to haul fuel, companies are surely struggling to meet demand. 

How the shortage affects RVers

If the diesel shortage continues to worsen, you’ll likely feel a number of effects. The most obvious effects will be felt by drivers of diesel vehicles, such as trucks and RVs. 

If your RV (or tow vehicle) runs on diesel, you can expect to pay higher prices at the pump until supplies improve. You may even find gas stations running out of diesel, leading to long lines at stations that do have a supply. 

You won’t just notice the shortage as an RVer traveling. The shortage will creep in to affect you in other ways too.

Because most tractor-trailers and other heavy transport vehicles use diesel fuel, it will also have further effects on supply chains. In addition to empty shelves at stores, you may start seeing longer delivery times for things you buy online.

While it’s still early, there’s no denying that diesel fuel supplies are facing issues. With low stockpiles brought on by high demand and lowered production, many are starting to feel a big squeeze. And things will likely continue to worsen, at least in the near future. 

The shortage continues to develop

Between issues with refineries, hiring drivers to haul fuel, massive shopping demand, and increasing supply chain issues, the diesel shortage is a complex issue. And it’s only one of many shortages being experienced worldwide. As the situation develops, only the future will tell how severe the situation becomes.

Eliminate RV fuel anxiety by planning every fuel stop in advance, before your RV trip begins. By using RV LIFE Trip Wizard to plan your trips in detail, you’ll know exactly when and where you will need fuel for your RV or truck. You can also vet those fuel stops with satellite and street view to make sure you can get in and out safely, and back on the road.

67 thoughts on “Will There Be A Diesel Shortage?

  1. The increase of fuel is just the begining, food shortages an other supply chain issues are gonna drive food up which will in turn have people buying out stores, bread , milk eggs the basics. Ripple effect. Then the weather, mass droughts, fires, weather. Going to make food hard to find if you don’t know how to fish are hunt. Those that live out of grocery stores are not gonna make it. Break down of social services an the influx of people at the border, famine ,pestilence , an disease. I could go on an on fact is get right with God!!!!!!!

  2. Biden said he wanted to become less dependent on the oil industry and more on renewables. Biden flat out said he is not a fan of the oil industry. Closing the keystone pipeline on his first day. The Biden administration has done nothing to stop rampant inflation. If inflation was this bad under Trump democrats would be rioting on the streets again.

  3. One thing about opinions, everyone has one. How many folks posting have any experience with oil exploration, production or refining? Or for that matter, have any experience business wise. I have been retired for 13 years and my wife for 23 years but we actually worked in the industry and have friends that are still employed in the industry. As in most cases any of these unforeseen situations are due to what is euphemistically an “Incredible Clain of Events”. There is a perfect storm comprised of business decisions where there was no demand due to shutdowns in many states resulting in reduced demand for fuel that quickly changed when things opened up. Weather events, primarily hurricanes, that impacted production refining and transportation of refined products. Remember the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline this summer? And the inability to bring crude supplies from the midwest and yes, even Canada to the largest refineries in the USA in Texas and Louisiana. Like I said it will take a while for all these issues to be worked out. I suspect it will be next year probably as summer starts that things will begin to get better as far as supply of refined products will get better based on what I know about the situation. Longer term, the decision to set unrealistic timelines to transition the transportation and agriculture and manufacturing industries to a mostly electric economy without the realization that there is more to oil and gas than exploration and production. These are feedstocks for our modern lives and not just fuel for vehicles.

  4. You ask for it ! Build back better, yeah right. Just wait for what’s to come. Oh by the way when the bills come due for all the free stuff the government is giving away. You think gas/diesel fuel is expensive just wait ! And FYI refineries only have 24 hours of fuel on hand at any given time.

      1. Under this illegal administration this sitting president DOES have and takes full responsibility for these shortages and prices. Yes it IS political!

      2. Yes. You are right. As soon as mindlessBiden came to office gas and diesel prices soared to all time highs. Keep l telling yourself lies. You may believe them but over half of America does not. Shameful.

      3. Gas & diesel prices are effected by supply, wars, refinery issues, etc. Two out of three of these are currently being manipulated by the Biden administration.

  5. So much misinformation and misunderstanding of the complexities of the oil and gas industry are posted here. I do wish people would do a little research before blindly putting a blame for things upon those that have absolutely nothing to do with the current high cost of almost everything. Falsely placing blame does not cure the problem, but usually makes the problem worse, by convincing many that the cause of the problem is due to something that it is not. The real issue is and has been built upon the fall out of COVID, which started during the Trump administration, not Biden’s. To be clear, I’m not a Biden fan, but to be fair nothing he has done in his short tenure as President has had any effect upon the economy or shortages. COVID has totally gotten our supply chain, production of goods, and workforce out of whack. Others have posted real, logical reasons for our current shortages and resulting price escalation, so I’m not going to restate those. For those of you intent upon quick judgements and parroting what fake news sources are telling you, please open your eyes and do a bit of research on your own, before blindly passing misinformation and placing blame where it does not belong.

    1. Lots of negative comments. I won’t debate the political stuff.

      Disappointed the author did not suggest some of the ways to find discounted fuel AND availability.

      Had great luck with https://www.tsdlogistics.com/services/fuel-program/ and the app FuelBook

    2. amen.
      you cant blame the president,for everything !
      The refiners,are not dumb,if they get a chance,they will allways jack up the price,
      When the Ukrane/russia started,the networks clained Russia was supplying 11%,not a month later the ,it is down to 3%.
      The people blocking pipeline construction,aren’t helping !
      Everybody knows oil pollutes,but cars have to use gas!
      Electric vehicles may be the answer down the road,but they are not perfect,except maybe in Hawaii,or s California,
      Electric vehicles,work good,except when you need a heater,in winter !
      Anyway,my thoughts !!

      1. Of curse the president is to blame, because HE shut down the pipeline from Canada!

        1. It’s tar sands oil that goes through that pipeline. The U.S. does not use it. It is piped to the south from Canada to be shipped to China.

      2. I agree with you we can’t blame our president for everything, but it’s a funny thing that they did blame Trump for everything that was wrong. Our government is broken completely broken. And until we get that fixed, and our government starts talking to each other and meeting in the middle on things they will not get better.

  6. It seems to me that everyone wants to blame the fuel shortages and other shortages on President Biden. If you look in the mirror you will see that all these problems began long before Biden became president. Look at deals made with Saudi Arabia , stopping fuel supplies from Iran and man made pipeline disasters . Be for real people

    1. Yes its true about Saudi. However we were energy independent until Biden shut down pipelines. Now we have to barter with the middle east crooks! Thanks Biden. Let’s go Brandon!

  7. Good grief! Biden did not shut down any operating pipelines! He canceled the CONSTRUCTION of a new pipeline. Most of the shortage is the result of hurricanes and shutdown of some oil wells during COVID last year. During that period oil prices got so low that oil companies stopped oil well operation. They’ll start back up now that the prices has come back up.

    1. You can’t possibly be this stupid? Biden terminated and suspended drilling leases and erased virtually EVERY one of Trump’s energy policies that had created energy independence! We are now back at the mercy of OPEC, just the way Sleepy Joe wanted it. This is what you get when you have a dementia ridden fool as POTUS!

  8. Spot on about Biden’s administration. First thing he did, shut down the Keystone Pipeline. Next thing, oil leases. Jen, that should have been your first mention in this article. Do we have enough readers to this posting that are of the Biden party that this explanation was not even mentioned? That’s the only reason I can think why it was not mentioned. President Trump had made us energy independent, which was promised but never delivered by every president since Carter. Biden shuts it down immediately, then begs OPEC to produce more. Acting like a fool, he is…

    1. Actually, less than 10 percent of the national supply of oil and natural gas comes from drilling on Federal Land. That means that 90 percent of our oil is drilled on private or state land. Biden stopped the drilling of NEW wells on federal land, he didn’t shutdown EXISTING, PRODUCING WELLS on Federal Land. Actually President Bush made us energy independent…remember Drill Baby Drill. Started with Bush and continued on through Trump to Biden. The main reason he stopped new drilling on Federal land is because generally is no way (pipeline) to get from wells to market so they flare off gas which adds to pollution and they need to truck from the well to get it to market.

    2. Absolutely agree! Biden is an idiot, pure and simple, and has done everything he can to ruin this nation.

      Those of you that don’t think it’s Biden’s fault, just look at the price of food, gas and other essentials, we either can’t afford, or don’t have.

      Wake up!!

    3. I guess you failed to comprehend the article itself. It’s individuals such as yourself that promote false information which is why this country is having the problems it does with conspiracy theories and fake news running out of control. Try being a Patriot instead of promoting your false agenda.

  9. During the height of the pandemic, demand for all types of fuel plummeted. Airplanes weren’t flying, cruise ships sat at the docks, personal travel was cut in half. In response refineries slowed production. They could only store so much product. In response, OPEC stopped pumping oil from the ground due to worldwide greatly reduced demand.
    The recovery was in fits and starts. Never consistent enough to justify returning to previous levels of production. Workers drawing unemployment and bolstered by stimulus money were in no hurry to return to the oil fields and refineries. Then in a relatively short time everything was back to prepandemic levels. Planes in the air, ships on the water and people driving everywhere to gather and shop. We are in the situation that drives the money train-way more demand than supply. The biggest business in the world -supplying fuel to move everything- will catch up. There will be enough supply!

  10. Oh, my goodness! What a collection of misinformation being spouted by a group of people who haven’t invested the time to educate themselves about the Keystone Pipeline extension!! The extremely dirty tar sands oil that would have been piped through it was intended to be sold mostly to overseas markets and would not helped our gas supplies here! Our refineries didn’t want the nasty stuff because it was so costly to refine.

  11. Ohio issues are the result of closing down two refineries in Ohio at the same time. This article was not researched well and may have written the intent of adding to the misinformation that permeates our country.

  12. I am speechless at you folks not blaming the oil companies themselves! As a former RV owner of a 45’ Tiffin and we towed a 23’ Phoenix. I remember being hit by $5.00 desiel prices and shortages at least 10 years ago, and everybody bitched then about the shortages, the “reasons”, etc, without blaming the oil companies for not being prepared or whatever. Also, small detail, we’ve got more big trucks, RV’s cars, and overall demand, and with the overall stuff, never forget GREED., out there.

  13. Biden administration fossil fuel actions have little to do with the current price of diesel.
    Pipelines take 7 to 10 years to complete. Under Trump, several companies accelerated construction schedules to hedge against a Biden win, but all these pipelines were natural gas, not crude. If you want the real facts try

    https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-diesel-prices/fact-check-post-falsely-claims-a-gallon-of-diesel-was-1-69-when-biden-took-office-idUSL1N2LK1OD

  14. So the deep freeze from almost a year ago is affecting production now? That’s a stretch doncha think? How about the fact that two refineries stateside closed down recently because…..? More government manipulation would Be my best effort at a guess. Let’s go Brandon!

    1. I have gone through several cycles of shortages and price increases over the years. Unfortunately this is the first time it was intentional by our own government. In order to be politically neutral we could sugar coat, it and pretend there are several reasons for it, but we all know the truth. When the majority of those making the laws are not affected by cost and shortages, because they are financially independent, our only hope is a few in power will get a conscience and do the right thing. We are a rich country in natural resources.

  15. Hi Jennifer,
    Before everyone starts freaking out, I think now might be a good time to consider possible counter-arguments:

    1.) On Friday, November 26, 2021, the price of WTI crude oil fell about 12%. This was after already falling from $85 a barrel to about $78 a barrel in previous days, after the announcement of coordinated Strategic Petroleum Reserve releases by multiple heavy oil consuming countries across the globe. Yes, I know, the price could potentially go right back up, but…
    2.) On Thursday, November 25, 2021, the global markets were made aware of the new variant of Covid-19 that boasts some 30 mutations of the “spike protein”. (
    Whatever the heck that is, and whatever the heck that means, the collective wisdom of oil markets seems to be that lockdowns may be coming, and oil consumption may be on the way back down.

    Given when you probably wrote your article, the premises were valid, and your analysis solid. But I suspect if a new variant starts to run rampant, nomads may once again decide to hunker down, and the costs to fuel up will moderate.

    P.S. : I was a professional oil trader for many years, and I can say with some degree of confidence the following: The cure to high oil prices is high oil prices.

  16. I consider this all hype. Yes, the price of fuel in general will go up but if there is a shortage of Diesel that will impact the transportation industry the whole economy in the USA will decline and come to a complete stop. If fuel is getting to expensive to travel with my RV I will stay put or reduce my travel. Fuel in the USA is still much cheaper than in most other developed countries in the world.

    1. So because we aren’t paying $7 or $8/gal like they do in Europe, that is supposed to make us feel better? Those people have more access to public transportation than people in the middle of the U.S. My granddaughter, who is currently in Spain, can hop on a bus or fly to another country very economically. Many people in Europe do not even own cars. Try not having a car if you live in Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Nebrasks, Kansas, etc.

  17. What about home heating oil? Off road diesel used by our farmers? It is the same thing as diesel fuel only died color red. That is a VERY important issue.

  18. What about attributing a large part of the fuel shortage to the fact that President Biden has shut down pipelines? We can also give him a hearty thanks for the current fuel prices being through the roof. We need domestic pipelines open. We all know that President Biden wanted to implement his own agenda, but making changes that adversely affect the wallets of all Americans shouldn’t have been at the top of it. This hurts those of us in the middle and lower income brackets much more than it hurts those who have more “disposable income.”

    1. What pipeline has he shut down? They were studying shutting down #5 pipeline. But Canada has an agreement to keep it open. Besides it only runs through the Great lake, who needs water?

  19. With the recent increase in air travel, Jet A fuel is being consumed at a higher rate than in the past few years. What does Jet A have to do with diesel? – It’s produced on the same refinery equipment and process as diesel, just slightly more refined (kerosene). Most large airports are direct pipeline terminals with large tanks farms, and do not require last mile fuel delivery drivers.

    Fuel stations, with some rare exceptions, require trucks for fuel delivery. So distribution of Jet A is more consistent and less dependent on hazmat drivers.

    FYI – We ran CAT diesel generators on JP8 (Jet-A with additives) for years in Iraq.

  20. Just bought a 2021 Newmar Ventana 3709. The dealer is only making service appointments for new units bought from them that have “camping critical” problems, and even then it takes weeks to get into the shop. Combination of huge demand and staff shortages.

  21. I wonder if we can figure out what the initial reason for the fuel shortages? Then maybe it can start to get it rectified. Just saying!

    1. Please explain how a pipeline that wasn’t finished and never delivered oil from Canada at all is the cause of increased prices? I could understand if we had been receiving oil through the pipeline and then it was shut down, but to my knowledge that isn’t the case. If I am incorrect about that please provide me with clarification.

    2. Because it didnt. That pipeline was not even under construction and there is another Enbridge pipeline operating now and has been for years.

  22. I do not see the true reason for all shortages in the US in this article. It is solely the fault of this disastrous administration.

  23. D-fuel is only one thing affected. You could list easily hundreds more. I don’t see this easing much if any at all next year- maybe for years to come as we continue dealing with the health crisis and national issues created by the current administration.

    1. Because it’s all a big cover-up for Biden administration. Just like all the propaganda being shoved down our throats in tv commercials. Just like the Nazis did!

  24. Nobody want to say it, but……. biden killing the pipelines is the main reason for shortages, the problem won’t be gone till he is……… and that can’t be soon enough!

  25. Maybe you have a shortage in the East? Here in Colorado, diesel is plentiful (we buy it from our Kroger grocery chain) and is cheaper than regular gas. There is also no shortage of propane here, as every U-Haul dealer, mom-and-pop rental store, and Amerigas dealer has it. Yes, the cost is significantly higher than a year ago, but so are food prices. We have had no difficulty finding either diesel (we currently have two diesel vehicles) or propane.

  26. Biden executive order closing U.S. oil fields. Shutting down U.S. pipeline. Helping Putian finish Russia pipeline. Hunter is still on Board of foreign energy company and visiting them with Secert Service protection.

    1. Biden executive order does not allow new leases on federal land. What pipeline has he shut down? We are not helping Putin finish pipeline. Biden is not going to put sanctions on them. Hunter Biden is not serving on any boards. All these things are easily verifiable if you read something other than the tabloids.

      1. Dream on Tony. Comunist News Network is not the only news. All I really know is that i paid a lot less under Trump than I did under Obama and now Biden. The green new deal is gonna get us all.

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