The West Indies Oil Company’s attempt on Monday to avert fuel hoarding chaos failed as thousands of automobile owners descended upon service stations last night, draining the supplies at the pump.
WIOC’s Chief Executive Officer, Gregory Georges, reassured the public on Monday that there was absolutely no need for panic as the country’s supplies of gasoline and diesel were adequate.
The disquiet began over the weekend with a rumor that the tanker transporting fuel did not make land.
WIOC’s Georges dismissed the claim, noting that the ship’s arrival had only been delayed. He said while some gas stations may be low in supply, the country itself had sufficient reserves of petrol.
He offered the assurance that a shipment of fuel had been cleared and that all service stations would be fully replenished by today.
“I don’t understand what has caused this panic buying of gasoline except to say
that it appears to have been caused by unsubstantiated rumors that have been
making the rounds. There is absolutely no need to panic as there are enough
supplies to meet the needs of the country for some time to come,” eorges stated.
He reported that the latest shipment of fuel was off-loaded on Monday.
Georges said the recent shortage of LPG, or cooking gas, has also been resolved with a shipment of the product landing just last week.
“We have adequate supplies of fuel and cooking gas to meet the island’s need for the holiday period,” he stated.
WIOC began replenishing service stations on Tuesday morning as promised, however, the long lines persisted into the afternoon as drivers attempted to fuel up their cars.
By Tuesday evening, the lines were reduced as normalcy returned.
Georges said there are adequate stores of diesel in the country.
On Monday, WIOC announced that fuel prices would decrease as the price on the world market had also declined. Gasoline now retails for $13.90 per gallon, down from $15.54, while diesel is being sold for $14.25 per gallon, a decrease from $16.70.