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No panic buying at pumps

PDA wants advice from Energy Ministry
Published: 
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

There was no panic buying or fuel shortages reported at the country’s 134 gas stations yesterday.

However, motorists did express concern that if the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) strike lingers, there would be rationing of fuel at the pumps or they would have to wait in long lines to fill their tanks.

Yesterday, President of the Petroleum Dealers’ Association of T&T Rabindranath Naraynsingh gave an insight as to what was taking place at gas stations across the country, hours after president general of the OWTU Ancel Roget served strike notice to Petrotrin.

Naraynsingh also called on the Energy Ministry to give clear directions to operators since the strike took effect.

“The (ministry) is the one who controls the Petroleum Act. The Ministry has to put things in place to ensure that the public can get to work, goods are delivered to supermarkets to avoid food shortages and businesses are not affected. We have not heard what are their back up plans should things get out of hand.”

Naraynsingh said the directions would be based on what steps gas stations dealers should take if they encounter a problem with supply of fuel during the strike.

“The panic buying has not started as yet. We have had no reports of gas shortages either.

“We have gotten no complaints from dealers so far. But there were a lot of concerns.

“I received a lot of calls from the public today who queried what would happen if the strike persists and if there would be a shortage at the pumps.”

He said some drivers wanted to know if things worsened whether fuel would be rationed and if they would have to face long lines to fill their tanks.

“These are questions I could not answer. Only time will tell.”

On a monthly basis, Naraynsingh said National Petroleum buys 800,000 gallons of diesel and 800,000 gallons of super which are distributed to gas stations.

“This can last for a month. Thereafter, if there is a shortage we don’t know what would be the position.”