Airlines are seeking assurances over fuel supplies following more disruption to the Marsden Point to Auckland pipeline at the weekend.

There was no cut to supplies through to Auckland Airport following a pipeline shutdown on Sunday, however, the organisation representing airlines here says it is worried.

Airlines were concerned that there was a 12-hour stoppage to jet fuel supply right in the lead up to Christmas holidays when travel demand was peaking, said Board of Airlines Representatives' executive director Justin Tighe-Umbers.

''We're seeking assurances from Refining NZ and the oil companies that they are taking all appropriate action to manage their supply resilience and contingency measures.''

Advertisement

In September airlines were forced to cancel some flights and stop off for fuel at other New Zealand and international airports after fuel supplies were cut when there was a break in the 170km long pipeline.

Some grades of petrol are running out in Auckland following disruption to supplies at the weekend.

Some Z stations have run out of petrol at sites from Pt Chevalier to Clevedon today. BP and Mobil said outages at their sites would be minimal and short-lived.

Z spokesman Jonathan Hill said there would be sporadic ''stock outs'' which could run into next week following the shut down of the fuel pipeline that runs from Marsden Point refinery to Auckland.

Read more: Pipeline failure warning

What turned out to be a false alarm meant fuel flow was stopped in the 170km pipeline for more than 12 hours on Sunday.

There were already lower supplies following the rupture of the Refining NZ pipeline at Ruakaka in September.

Hill said this came as demand for aviation fuel was higher than anticipated in November and December.

Advertisement
All of this has had the affect of stretching the supply line and we've been sucking fuel in a fairly conservative way since September

He said the fuel industry made a decision to prioritise the aviation sector and pump more aviation fuel since the shutdown on Sunday to avoid any of the widespread disruption that hit airlines in September.

"All of this has had the affect of stretching the supply line and we've been sucking fuel in a fairly conservative way since September. But with jet fuel demand going up quite strongly it's sharpened the effect."

He said some grades of petrol could run out at some stations but typically for no more than six hours until a truck could make a delivery. There was more trucking of fuel from ports such as Tauranga.

While it could take several days to rebuild stocks, motorists should not be worried about filling up for their holidays.

"I don't think there's any reason for motorists to be concerned about fuel supplies in the lead up to Christmas. There's plenty of fuel in the country," Hill said.

A Refining NZ spokesman said the company was now in the process of calibrating the sensors which compare flow rates on the pipeline, that triggered the alarm.

The pipeline certifier recently approved an increase in pipeline pressure and this increase and an extra pump installed at the Kumeu IPS (Intermediate pumping station) last month, means the pipeline is running higher throughputs than before the September rupture.

Mobil's country manager Andrew McNaught said his company was focused on minimising disruption.

''We are assessing the potential impact on supplies to Mobil service stations as a result of this issue and working to put alternative supply arrangements in place to minimise any impacts on our customers,'' McNaught said.

''This includes arranging additional trucking of fuel from other terminals to provide additional deliveries into the region.''

BP New Zealand managing director Debi Boffa said her company was also trucking more fuel in to Auckland.

Yesterday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was concerned about the state of the vulnerability of the supply network.