Even as long queues were seen in several fuel outlets across Chennai, State-owned oil majors have said that there are no constraints in the supply of fuel to retail outlets as most of them resumed operations in and around the city.

“At least 80-90 per cent of our petrol pumps have restored operations as of Thursday and are supplying fuel to vehicles. The remaining retail outlets, which were under water, will be up and running soon after evacuating the water,” said a senior official of Indian Oil Corporation.

This time, IOC’s Asanur terminal — which was set up at a cost of ₹466 crore and commissioned a few months ago — has helped the company maintain its fuel supply to pumps during the floods. Since the Korukkupet terminal in Chennai was heavily waterlogged, fuel transportation was affected for a couple of days. However, IOC managed to maintain its supply from its Asanur terminal.

During the 2015 floods, IOC had to make alternative arrangements to procure fuel from Salem, Tiruchi, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, as the Chennai terminal was heavily inundated.

Further, heavy flooding affected the quality of fuel as water leaked into underground fuel tanks. This resulted in a lot of customer complaints about the quality of fuel supplied.

But this time, the company is unlikely to witness such a scenario as the implementation of an automatic system, which will detect leaks from any portion of the tank that stores petrol or diesel, has helped monitor the water level and its interface with the underground tanks. It can shut down the supply on its own when it detects a high level of water content in the tank.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd also pointed out that there are no shortages of fuel in the city. 

“We have good stock in all the fuel outlets. Demand for diesel went up in the past few days as people were running gensets using diesel. However, we could manage the surge in diesel consumption as commercial vehicles were not running in big numbers during these days. We also sourced fuel from Karur to support the demand. So, there is no constraint in supply to petrol pumps,” said a senior official of BPCL.

Meanwhile, a fire broke out at a fuel outlet of BPCL on the IT Corridor of Chennai on Wednesday. However, firefighters rushed to the spot and doused the fire. No casualties were reported.


CPCL clarifies on oil leakage
Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd has issued a clarification on the posts in social media about oil slippage in flood water.
“There is no pipeline leak at CPCL Manali Refinery. CPCL supplies fuels like LPG, petrol, aviation fuel, and diesel primarily to the state of Tamil Nadu. Due to cyclone Michaung incessant rains occurred, which caused unprecedented flooding situation inside the refinery. Other industries of Manali were also badly affected. Despite the flood situation in and around the refinery, CPCL has ensured uninterrupted safe operation of the refinery and supply of fuels to the state. Presently water levels have receded. We are investigating the matter,” said a company statement.