Petroleum inspector confident in CI industry

Despite high gasoline prices, the public can be confident that local gas stations are dispensing the correct quantity of fuel for the price advertised, and no less a grade of fuel than is advertised, said a local expert.

According to the government’s Chief Petroleum Inspector Gary McTaggart, on an annual basis every gas station in Cayman is tested to see that it is dispensing the correct amount of fuel for the price publicized.

‘Our checks are primarily in regard to safety and environmental issues,’ he said, ‘But we also ensure that local gasoline and diesel pumps are dispensing the correct quantity of fuel for the price as advertised on each dispenser.

‘We use a test measure and it has to be accurate to .05 of a per cent,’ he said.

The service stations cannot interfere with this measure because they do not know how to change it again and the panel on the pump is locked, he said.

With regard to the grade of gas advertised on the pump matching the contents of the tank, Mr. McTaggart said that while there are no official checks on this, the distributors (Esso Ltd. and Chevron Texaco) will never put regular fuel in a premium tank.

Each tank has one independent line that goes to the dispenser and the advertised product lines go in the right tanks, he said.

Mr. McTaggart said that, if anything, the grade of gas inside the pump is sometimes actually a higher grade of gas than what is advertised.

For instance, in the case of low octane gas, when it is advertised as 89, it will not be lower than this grade. If there is no 89 available from the distributor then a higher available grade is put in the low octane pump.

He said the distributors will never put regular (low octane) fuel in the premium (high octane) pump.

‘They are very ethical,’ he said, ‘I can tell you that from experience,’ adding that he has worked directly in the fuel industry himself.

‘We are confident from experience that if any grade of gasoline on the pump does not match the contents of the tank, ethics in the industry requires that it is always in favour of the customer,’ he said.

‘They very much abide by US Antitrust laws,’ he said.