04 August 2013, Lagos – The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has warned against illegal distribution of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, more popularly known as cooking gas, saying unlicensed distributors would be severely punished.
The Operations Controller, Lagos Zonal Office, DPR, Mr. Olugbenga Kuku, who condemned the practice in Lagos, lamented that many marketers stored and sold LPG without valid licences, and were contravening the law.
He spoke during the annual meeting of the DPR and LPG operators/stakeholders, insisting all retail outlets for LPG must be licensed.
He said, “The Department wishes to reiterate its advice to LPG plant owners who continue to sell products to unlicensed distributors and bulk end users despite directives against this practice. Be informed that, henceforth, all violators of this regulation which stipulates selling and distribution of any petroleum product to licensed companies only will be severely sanctioned.
“We want to use this medium to direct all LPG plant operators to ensure that resell points have valid licence. Our inspectors have been directed to ensure compliance.”
The DPR also banned truck-to-cylinder and cylinder-to-cylinder dispensing of cooking gas, saying they were illegal.
Kuku said, “The dispensing of LPG by Bobtail trucks is illegal and cylinder-to-cylinder refilling is dangerous and unlawful. Perpetrators, if caught, shall face appropriate sanction.”
Kuku complained that some LPG operators had not been renewing their operating licences and warned that DPR officials would start constant visits to plants to enforce compliance.
He said, “In as much as we encourage the proliferation of LPG plants, prospective plant owners must follow due process to obtain all requisite approvals before the commencement of any upgrade or modification of plant.”
Our correspondent had reported on August 1 that the DPR would embark on a nationwide LPG facility audit in September.
The oil and gas regulatory body said the nationwide facility audit of licenced plants was aimed at ensuring compliance with statutory provisions on operational safety.
“The Department will embark on operational facility audit of licensed plants starting from next month to ensure strict compliance to statutory guidelines and standards,” it added.
The Head, Gas, DPR, Mr. O.C Okparaojiako, also said, “Peddling of gas is wrong. Only kerosene is allowed to be peddled. It is operationally safe to sell gas from trucks to cylinders.”
– The Punch