Monday, July 10, 2006

Sealift Season Begins

This is the first ship of the season, in this instance an oiler bringing gasoline, diesel, Jet B and heating oil to the community. Since the 14 northernmost communities in Quebec are not connected to the road network, the only means of transporting heavy or bulk items is by ship.

Since this ship arrived very early in the season, I suspect they are trying to manage their inventory of petroleum products so as to maintain their margins by topping up the tanks later in the season having basically hedging their bets. Our fuel prices are set once a year (except for changes in taxes) so we are less at the mercy of market fluctuations. On the other hand, if fuel prices should dip in the fall (as if that is ever going to happen) we are locked in at a higher rate.

In all fairness, this has worked in our favour during the past couple of years, especially last summer when retail prices in the south went through the roof. Right now, we are paying $1.48 CDN per litre (or $5.03US per US gallon). Believe me, we were paying much more as a percentage a decade ago.

The fuel is stored in this tank farm, and transported to homes, offices, stores and airport by a conventional fuel truck. It is pumped slowly from the oiler off-shore through a floating hose onshore, and then by fixed steel pipes into the individual storage tanks.

Fortunately, there have been no spills in this procedure that I have been aware of.

So between now and mid-October we are expecting another 3 or four ships, bringing trucks, construction materials, dry goods and soft drinks for the stores, and maybe a crate of vodka, for medicinal purposes only.


Blogger marty said...

I think my boss's wife would have to be transported by freighter to your community. Unfortunately, she may be mistaken for a whale. Not good news for her in your community, apparently. lol

10:47 PM  
Blogger nanuk said...

Marty: Even we have our limits to what we will eat. LOL

11:11 PM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Waiting for your ship to come in, eh? I bet the cap'n of the vodka barge is a pretty popular man.

1:10 AM  
Blogger Fuff said...

Can you get them to bring crates of beer/vodka and scitch especially for yourself?

8:06 AM  
Blogger Fuff said...

I'm sorry Nanuk, that was supposed to read 'scotch'. For a moment I hadn't a clue.

8:55 PM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

That isn't the Exxon Valdez II, by any chance??

11:04 PM  
Blogger nanuk said...

TPK: some sealift stories of mirth and, well mirth to follow soon.

Fuff: Scitch, scotch, I'll drink anything.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Annie Drogynous said...

Nanuk I still can't get my jaw off the floor at what you pay for fuel!!

9:02 AM  

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