A Timeline Of The Bad Gas Saga


Many Jamaican motorists were not able to enjoy their Christmas and have found the start of the new year a pain in the pockets as their vehicles have been damaged by contaminated gas. The ‘bad gas’ saga started late last year, and is ongoing, with an official report due to the public by January 31. While we await that report, which promised to name and shame those involved, take a look at this timeline that tracks the major developments in the saga.

  • December 19, 2015 – Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell confirmed reports that motorists were complaining about being sold contaminated bad gas that was damaging their vehicles.
  • December 23, 2015 – A full probe is launched by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and Petrojam, the state-owned oil refinery.
  • December 29, 2015 – The fuel quality report is released, revealing details about illegal mixing stations, rogue gas stations and conspiracies between persons at various levels in the petroleum trade.
    • Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell threatened to impose criminal sanctions on those involved in the ongoing saga.
  • December 30, 2015 – A total of 17 gas stations are ordered closed by officers from the BSJ as a polic investigation got underway.
  • January 4, 2016 – Minister Paulwell announced that the full contents of the bad gas committee report will be made public. The committee has been mandated to submit its first set of findings by the end of this month.
  • January 5, 2016 – Most of the gas stations ordered closed reopen.
  • January 6, 2016 – Petrojam declares itself free from blame in the bad gas saga, as no contaminated fuel was found at its facilities.
  • January 7, 2016 – Three of the gas stations cleared for reopening were once again ordered closed by the BSJ.
  • January 8, 2016 – President of the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA), Leonard Green, called for an independent investigation into the bad gas saga, and also confirmed a Gleaner story that there were reports of bad gas in the petroleum trade that were not made public, as far back as October 2015.
  • January 11, 2016 – Gas marketing company RUBiS waded into the fray, calling for the source of the bad gas to be revealed. However, BSJ chairman Professor Winston Davidson said it would be extremely difficult to identify the source.
  • January 12, 2016 – Paulwell announced that the Energy Ministry will be looking at the possibility of a Government-sponsored class action on behalf of consumers affected by the bad gas.
  • January 13, 2016 – The JGRA announced it had started to compile claims for compensation by its members affected by the bad gas saga.
  • January 14, 2016 – Motorists whose vehicles have been adversely affected by the contaminated fuel were advised to submit formal documentation of their damages to the Consumer Affairs Commission.