A fuel distributor's financial problems have roiled many area gas stations, which have been running out of gas and having problems accepting credit cards.
Crescent Oil Co. Inc. on Saturday sought protection from creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Kansas City, Kan., while it seeks to reorganize the business.
Crescent, which blamed volatile gasoline prices for two years of steep losses exceeding $15 million, listed $85.3 million in assets and $88.8 million in liabilities in its bankruptcy filing. Among its debts are $6.5 million it owes Shell Oil Products and $3.5 million to ConocoPhillips.
Company officials did not return phone calls Monday.
The Independence, Kan.-based company supplies 340 stations in six states, including dozens of stations in the Kansas City area. Some stations selling Conoco, Phillips 66, Shell and Valero gas are affected.
Fuel retailers have been scrambling in recent days to replace Crescent with fresh sources of supply.
A Jump Start convenience store and gas station at 13620 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park ran out of gas Wednesday. It eventually found another supplier to deliver a tanker of gas Saturday, but only after agreeing to pay cash on delivery.
"Anytime a gas station has their pumps off, that's a bad day," said Tom Swafford, who became a partner in the station earlier this month.
A Shell station at 8120 Mission Road in Prairie Village ran out of gas Thursday and hoped to get fuel delivered Monday evening. In the meantime, the station got only the occasional customer wanting drinks or cigarettes.
Such disruptions came as area gas prices rose sharply over the last few days. While Crescent's difficulties may have helped nudge those prices up, market observers attributed most of the recent increase to rising refinery margins.
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