Oily Issue

July 1, 2011 (LBO) – Long queues of cars have built up around some fuel stations of the Sri Lanka unit of India Oil Corporation after car owners complained of engine trouble after filling up from their competitor. Customers who used petrol sold by state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation have complained that they had to replace petrol pumps in their cars after the vehicles broke down.

Both CPC and Lanka IOC however use the same common user facility – Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd – to store and distribute fuel.

Lanka IOC chief Suresh Kumar said while his firm also uses the common user facility, he believed that the problem had been solved by segregating suspected stocks.

“There have been some problems,” he said. “But things must have improved over the last two days.”

A senior government official said earlier in the week that there were some suspicions that a consignment of fuel bought from UAE was causing engine trouble. Petroleum minister Susil Premjayantha said dregs in the distributor tanks were to blame.

However drivers flocking to Indian Oil fuel stations clearly believe otherwise.