Fuel quality needs regulating

| 06/03/2014

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Chief Petroleum Inspector Duke Munroe has called for “much needed regulation of fuel quality standards” as he published his final report today on last year’s inspection.  Although the investigation didn’t uncover any very significant cases of fuel adulteration or contamination the findings highlight the need for a number of measures to address the problems that were found. Following complaints about fuel quality the inspectorate went into the field and while analysis indicates that the baseline parameter of the fuel meets standard test criteria the inspector has raised a number of concerns and offered solutions.

Officials said that the planning ministry is preparing to begin work on the recommendations in the report which include establishing a committee to develop fuel quality standards, random sampling, fast track regulations and policies on quality and a formal complaint process.
The results of the investigation were not indicative that the quality of fuel on the market was questionable but the inspector said there is the possibility of fuel being imported of varying standard and composition which could have negative impact on customer vehicles.

“Absence of Regulation leaves an opendoor on the issue and because of the complex nature of fuel quality issues, the Oil companies simply cannot be coerced into complying with fuel standards unless a comprehensive approach is taken to address such an issue, backed by legislation,” he said.

“Importers of fuel for consumption have a moral obligation to ensure the quality is acceptable and should make the public aware of any peculiarities of their fuel without having to divulge truly sensitive competitive information,” Munroe said. “This requirement is further reinforced by the fact that liability   for issues related to their fuel quality in most instances, remains with the primary importer.

Overall, the fuel boss said that despite the limitations, the exercise produced useful findings and valuable data/information which is essential for renewed discussion in the area of fuel quality, and ultimately to develop a framework to address this issue going forward.

He said that information flow from the industry to government and the public continues to be a factor of importance in addressing issues of general nature and was evident during this exercise.

“This is consistent across the entire sector and not only the two entities which were central to the investigation,” he said of Esso and Rubis. “Information, in many cases, basic non-proprietary information was difficult to obtain, which in a weak regulatory environment such as exists in the petroleum sector, can only be addressed by well-defined regulations. The impact of this shortcoming was managed during the exercise, however from a public awareness standpoint, it does need improvement.”

See full report and appendices below

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The taxation of gas should increase to accommodate better regulation and enforcement.  It is quite cheap so there is plenty of room to generate revenue from its sale.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Who puts gas into their cars?  Isn't that really dangerous?  I just use petrol.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What, exactly, does the Petroleum Inspectorate do? I've never seen them inspecting anything.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We always get the rotten & bad goods from USA!

    • Mmmmm says:

      what ever happen to panama or honduras for the goods … heard udp with that idea … nothing from ppm

  5. Anonymous says:

    I haven’t saw a fuel inspector in the brac ever checking on prices much less fuel quality! The price of gas haven’t moved in the brac, can you investigate why CNS?

  6. Anonymous says:

    We’re paying more than anywhere else in the world for garbage gas that never drops in price! The fuel inspector website speaks for it all! Take a look cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      Aint no way you paying most in the world calm down.  Look at what the UK paying and then you'll realise how cheap it is.

  7. Richard Wadd says:

    Fuel quality? How about Environmental Responsibility?

    CNS, why don't you investigate the extent of any fuel leakage issues at the Depots, and also the state of the Fire Supressant Systems at those facilities?

    And while your at it, talk with Planning about applications and permits to repair & construct exsisting and new tanks … 


  8. anonymous says:

    enough!  cuc do you hear me!  stop pumping your contamination into the north sound!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is this anything to do with the problems they are having in the USA with a mandatory ethanol content in the gas blends? 

  10. Anonymous says:

    Pricing is needed more!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    But weren't the tests done well after a sale of gas stations recently, whose fuel then was of doubtful quality? I.e. the possibly adulterated fuel has long since been used & the tanks refilled so these tests are way too late? Is it possible before the sale, the stock of fuel was topped up with something else to get a better sale price for the business? Just a thought. Seems like a strange coincidence on timing.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Moral obligation?! How about legal obligation? What sort of nonsense is this…

    • Anonymous says:

      That was the point. A merchant has a moral obligation to sell a good product. But since you can't trust them all (statistically) then you need regulation to back it up. – Kinda like a better bussiness bill, oh, wait, we don't havce that either.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.

      Gas stations are just like any other retailer – they have no legal obligation regarding the quality of their goods beyond not being able to falsely represent what they are selling (which would be fraud). The same way that a clothing store can sell you a pair of pants that will fall apart after the first wash a gas station can sell you whatever quality gas they want so long as it meets the specifications that they advertise (i.e. octane levels).

      This is capitalism, my friend, and one of the main reasons that I am not a fan of the system.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no planned obsolescence with fuel, it either is or isn't what it's advertised.

  13. Anonymous says:

    they need to disclose where exactly the gas stations marked with an x on the pics in the pdf folder are located so we can avoid them like the plague. this gas looks disgusting. if we go there and fill up will they foot the bill for our cars breaking down? i think not either.swome of the samples must be  bad because of faults in their holding tanks is all i can think of because of the discouloration. name and shame.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Fuel importers should have more than a little moral obligation to deliver the octane levels they are representing for sale, since it would be fraudelent to do otherwise.  Fair trade should extend beyond fuel and apply to all product and service providers doing business in Cayman.  It's so typical of our Government glut that an actual Fuel Inspectorate has been operating a paid department for years without any actual applicable quality standards to enforce, and it's only just occurring to them now.  Great work if you can get it.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's not the Department by itself. How many other issues have now come up recently from the same Ministry Mount  Dump, ICTA scandal, Lands &Survey hiring . List still going on


  15. Anonymous says:

    Dirty local gas station tanks operated by locals are the problem. The rest is gibberish designed to deflect attention toward the bad old foreign importers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right on cue putting down the locals and defending the foreigners. LOL.