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Wednesday 17 July 2019
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NP: No fuel shortage

Drivers line up to buy gas at NP gas station, Barataria roundabout yesterday. PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI
Drivers line up to buy gas at NP gas station, Barataria roundabout yesterday. PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI

TT has a “continuous and reliable supply of fuel,” says the National Petroleum Marketing Company Ltd (NP).

In a message posted to its Facebook page at about 5 pm yesterday, NP said it wished to “assure the public that our operations are running as normal with a continuous and reliable supply of fuel. Any news to the contrary is incorrect and should be disregarded.

“We also wish to advise that there is no need for consumers to panic-buy since this will only serve to cause fuel shortages. Moreover, the actions of some motorists in queuing irresponsibly at service stations can pose a danger to other road users and create unnecessary disruptions to traffic,” NP stated.

The advice to not panic-buy fuel came after rumours began circulating on social media of an impending strike at Petrotrin – related to restructuring plans at the state-owned oil company – would lead to fuel-shortages.

Newsday conducted an informal survey of drivers and gas station attendants in Port of Spain yesterday evening. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they hadn’t heard anything about a fuel shortage, among them a male attendant at the NP service centre, corner Tragarete Road and Richmond Street.

The man — who declined to give his name — said he started work at 3 pm and up to about 7 pm, “things were slow. Nobody mentioned it. (In fact) gas came today.”

In contrast, Calvin Ramnath, an attendant at the NP Quik Shoppe a short distance away on the corner of Richmond and Park Streets, told Newsday he experienced a mid-afternoon rush. “A lot of vehicles came in, more than normal, from about 3 pm to 6 pm. A couple people said they heard Petrotrin (workers) going on strike, so they decided to stop for gas. People were taking more fuel than they usually do but there was no word from management about any fuel shortage, only customers were saying that,” Ramnath said.

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