ND - Amoco Stations Replace Bad Fuel

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Wednesday, March 29, 2000

Title: Amoco Stations Replace Bad Fuel

MARK HANSON, Bismarck Tribune Consumers who bought silver grade gas at a number of Amoco service stations in Bismarck or Minot during the weekend may notice that their vehicle doesn't start quite as easily in the morning. If so, return to the station for a gas exchange.

The Amoco Mandan Refinery delivered silver grade gas that didn't meet grade specifications to the stations. An Amoco spokeswoman said she didn't know how many gallons were delivered, but as of Tuesday afternoon, about 90 percent of the product had been recovered.

"It had too high an octane and not enough of another component -- the vapor pressure was too low -- for cold weather starts," said Sherry Boltt of BP Amoco's government and public affairs office.

Boltt said the fuel affects cold weather starts, but shouldn't cause any long-term harm to the vehicle. The fuel was sold at 13 stations Friday and Saturday before the problem was noticed. The fuel had been replaced in 10 of the 13 sites as of Tuesday. The other three will be replaced soon, she said.

"Hopefully people shouldn't have much of a problem," Boltt said. "The higher octane would not have a negative effect on the vehicle. It would just be slow to turn over. Any consumers who had trouble and came back to the retail station, we've been helping them replace the fuel in the vehicle."

One person did claim her fuel pump was damaged, Boltt said, and Amoco paid for the repair.

"As part of taking care of our customers, we didn't question the complaint," Boltt said. "We don't believe the fuel caused the problem. Our engineers say it shouldn't have caused the problem."

Gary Berreth with the state Health Department said the department received a complaint from a consumer late Friday afternoon.

"We went over and took a sample and had it analyzed Monday morning," Berreth said. "The grade failed the test, it didn't meet specifications. By the time I called the station manager, he had already been contacted by the refinery and taken steps to correct the problem."

The silver grade is supposed to have an octane level of 89. Boltt said she didn't have the lab report, but the fuel was above 89.

"We'll work to find out what happened so it doesn't occur again," she said.



-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), April 02, 2000

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