Apr 02, 2011 News
…more sites visited, less fuel seized in 2010
The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) has reported success with its Fuel Marking Programme and is convinced that its efforts are leading to a reduction in the sale of illegal fuel in Guyana or at least distorting efforts to do so.
During last year, the Agency said fuel was sampled and tested in all areas of Guyana, resulting in the seizure of 21,000 gallons.
Of the 24,329 samples analysed during 2010, significant levels of adulteration (defined as more than 50 per cent) were detected in two per cent of the samples analysed, the GEA stated.
It added that from 2006 to 2010, the percentage of sites found with significant dilution in at least one tank has progressively decreased from 34 per cent in 2006 to three per cent in 2010.
“The data suggests that either fewer sites are dealing in illegal fuel or that illegal fuel is no longer stored on site,” the GEA stated.
The Agency said that it believes that the Fuel Marking Programme is contributing to a reduction in the number of sites dealing with illegal fuel.
This is because more sites were visited and that more samples were collected and analysed but less fuel was seized in 2010.
Consumption of mogas (gasoline) for the year 2010 increased by 5.34 per cent when compared to 2009. The increase in mogas consumption correlates with the increase in the number of motor vehicles registered in 2010.
Gasoil (diesel) consumption reported by the oil companies only (excluding the large industrial consumers exempt from excise tax) increased by 2.78 per cent when compared with 2009.
“The increase in gasoil consumption correlates with the overall sustained growth of the economy and decreased availability of smuggled fuel presumably due to the success of the monitoring and enforcement activities of the Fuel Marking Programme,” the GEA stated.
Automated bulk injection marking systems have been installed at all the major fuel terminals in Guyana to improve the security of the marker concentrate and fuel marking operations. A significant quantity of marker concentrate was stolen from the GEA compound by armed robbers on September 30, 2010.
This is probably a good indication that the installation of the automatic marker injection system at the terminals has drastically reduced the availability of stolen marker concentrate previously acquired through pilfering. A number of security measures have since been put in place.
The first Analyst Certificate indicating the physical properties of a particular sample of petroleum, therein proving that the particular sample was diesel, was tendered in Court. The Courts had previously ruled that before proving a particular sample of fuel was illegal, GEA must prove that the particular sample was diesel, gasoline or kerosene as the case might be. Equipment to conduct the necessary tests was sourced and is now being used to tender evidence in the Courts.
The ability to conduct specification tests on a particular sample of petroleum (for adulteration or deterioration) is a boost to the Agency’s analytical capabilities, allowing for even more diverse functions.
For example, the equipment enabled GEA for the first time to render assistance in determining the condition of petroleum which had been stored for a lengthy period.
In addition to the bulk injectors and increased testing capability, GEA said the Fuel Marking Programme benefitted from the bolstering of its investigative capacity and the Gazzetting of an additional Analyst who can tender results in Courts of law.
These factors together with the vigilance of the officers saw the institution of 27 new charges.
According to the Agency, the successes of the Fuel Marking Programme are inextricably linked to the support of the Task Force on Fuel Smuggling and Contraband chaired by Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee.
The GEA said the Task Force has been instrumental in preparing Standard Operating Procedures to promote coordinated and efficient inter-Agency operations between the Guyana Police Force, Guyana Revenue Authority, Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard, Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) and the Guyana Oil Company (Guyoil).
Cooperation under the Task Force ensured the successful detention of illegal fuel, suspects, vehicles, vessels and subsequent institution of charges, the Agency reported.
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