Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Bad gas report ready for Cabinet review

Published:Wednesday | April 20, 2016 | 4:30 PMNeville Graham

The so-called bad gas report of the Petroleum Trade Reform Committee is ready and should be going before Cabinet on Monday.

News of the development came as Energy Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley addressed the half yearly meeting of the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA) on Wednesday.

He says the bad gas episode and the subsequent report will give Jamaica a chance to once and for all correct the ills of the petroleum sector

“It affords us as a sector, a real opportunity to look holistically in addressing the concerns and challenges of the industry in a more fulsome way and to implement measure that will create lasting solutions and not just superficial remedial actions and shortcut fixes,” Wheatley said as he gave a preview of the report prepared by a seven-member committee set up under the former energy minister Phillip Paulwell.

He says while not pre-empting the report to Cabinet he expects that there will be a legislative overhaul of the petroleum sector alongside regulations to ensure proper oversight of the procurement, transportation, distribution and sale of petroleum products.

“…And that includes the granting of licences,” said Wheatley.

He signalled that the coming changes, among them the custody of petroleum products, will allow for greater tracking of activity in the trade.

"If anything should happen then we will know who is to be blamed and we are going to take the necessary action and these actions will be very swift and severe,” Wheatley warned.

JGRA president Leonard Green meanwhile welcomed the announced reintroduction of the petroleum trade inspectorate, saying it will return order to the chaotic areas of the trade.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com