Ashmead Ali

Anxious: Unipet station attendant Ashmead Ali in El Socorro yesterday.

“FEELING terrible. Three weeks before Christmas.”

That was Unipet employee Gordon Gaskin’s response yesterday to Paria Fuel Trading’s announcement that it had cut gas supplies to Unipet service stations.

President of the Petroleum Dealers Association (PDA) Robin Naraynsingh had said on Tuesday the development between Unipet and Paria was unfortunate and predicted that more than 600 people who are directly employed by Unipet may face a bleak Christmas.

Unipet is locally owned and operates 24 gas stations around the country.

As he pumped gas for a customer at the Unipet El Socorro station, Gaskin said: “I saw one of the guys and he said not to worry. The supply of super, diesel and premium should start from tomorrow. But I can’t help feeling anxious. Feeling Christmas jitters.”

Gaskin added: “The fuel we have could run out at any time. We only have the underground supply.

Monday was the last delivery. We will just block up and put ‘No gas’ signs.”

His co-worker Ashmead Ali said: “It’s not nice news before Christmas. We have a family to maintain. It’s not right. I would be in trouble. I might get evicted because I have to pay $1,700 rent. I am a bachelor. I get a small salary and I am grateful for it.”

Regular Unipet customer Parasam Singh said he was shocked by the announcement that Paria had cut supplies to Unipet: “Real stupidness. Unipet is good.”

No super, no spike in customers

At the Unipet station at Eastern Main Road, Laventille, yesterday, a cashier pointed to a sign which read “Only diesel and premium”. She said: “I am not sure what is happening. I know we don’t have any super. But there has been no panic buying.”

Morvant taxi driver Glen Bailey expressed disappointment that there was no super gas.

At the NP station in Barataria, soca promoter Errol Peru was filling up his tank.

He said: “It’s serious. It will affect the motorists and trickle down to the people. Managers need to sit around the table and work it out for the travelling public.”

But two NP employees said there was the usual flow of vehicles coming in to refuel yesterday. “We have not seen a spike. It’s normally busier. It might pick up (later).”

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