Petrol sold lags in quality and quantity

The quality of fuel in Greece remains dubious, a new survey by the Fuel and Lubricants Technology Laboratory of the National Technical University of Athens shows. Titled «Quality of Fuel in Greece – Current Situation and Development through Time,» the survey tested 599 samples from 16 companies and 402 gas stations in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and Iraklion. The instances of «problematic diesel samples» were seven times more than last year (10.3 percent in 2007 against 1.5 percent in 2006). Extreme samples including more sulfur than allowed occurred in 4.7 percent of samples, against none last year. «This year we have collected the worst diesel samples, which included sulfur at 70 times above standards; it was actually from one of the major companies, too,» said Professor Stamos Stournas, the head of the laboratory, who presented the survey yesterday. Researchers also found that the adulteration of unleaded and super-unleaded gasoline has grown considerably from last year: Adulterated samples of unleaded gasoline increased from 1.1 percent to 8.3 percent and those of super-unleaded from 2.8 percent to 4.6 percent. The survey was also commissioned by the Association of Oil Trading Companies in Greece (SEEPE), which objected to the findings showing that eight out of 10 gas stations rob consumers at filling points. The laboratory used a new method to make the calculation of fuel sold, based on mass and not volume because «mass is 1,000 times more precise,» according to Stournas. «Conservative estimates show that Greek consumers pay for 50 million liters of gasoline that they never get, with about 30 million of them evaporating,» added Stournas. SEPEE General Director Andreas Petrianidis called for more checks at gas stations.