Rubis fined $225k for 2019 terminal oil spill

| 27/06/2022 | 17 Comments
Cayman News Service
Rubis tank that leaked (from the report)

(CNS): Almost three years after 3,700 gallons of oil leaked at Rubis’ Jackson Point Terminal due to a rusty tank, the Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) has fined the supplier $225,000 following a successful prosecution. The discovery of the leak was not reported to the public for six months, and the report on the independent investigation into the cause was only made public after CNS acquired a copy. But OfReg said it had “acted quickly” and established the cause, and despite the large quantity of diesel leaked, the regulator also said it had found no significant impact on the environment.

The investigation found sufficient grounds to file charges against Rubis earlier this year. Following initial legal proceedings brought before the courts, Rubis has now agreed to settle the matter and accept an administrative fine, including investigative and related costs.

“As the regulator for the fuel sector, OfReg has a legal duty to ensure all operators operate and maintain critical national infrastructure to the highest standard in order to deliver the required benefits to consumers and the jurisdiction,” OfReg CEO Peter Gough said. “This particular incident, thankfully, has not had a significant impact on our environment, but as our investigation has determined, had the operator adhered to the codes, standards and their own operational procedures, the leak could have been prevented.”

According to the report, Rubis was aware of the problem with the tank for six years before it began to leak. The tank suffered a “bottom plate failure resulting from severe rust and degradation due to corrosion”, which was preventable, according to the independent investigation.

Gough said the decision to prosecute and the size of the fine reflected the seriousness of the offence and the regulator’s commitment to holding licensed operators accountable for their actions. “The matter is now closed, and we are clear in our mandate to ensure that this should not happen again and that there will be severe consequences for those that fail to meet the requirements and terms of their permits and licences,” he added.

The fine is in line with the one issued to Sol Petroleum Limited — CI$200,000 plus costs of CI$86,700 — after a dangerous fuel tank fire at the same terminal in 2017.

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Category: Business, Fuel

Comments (17)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    who was the lead person/consultant for the report findings and a former employees of rubis and chevron.. why ofreg can’t do their own investigation reports like how they did for the SOL fire investigation why everything has to be a outside consultant and not in house by the chief fuel inspector and the fuel inspectors are they not qualified to write investigation reports and wasting public funds on outside consultant. Pact government need to verify ofreg fuel inspectors qualifications or closed down ofreg office from further wasting government andpublic funds.

  2. Anonymous says:

    OfReg is trying to show us what they are doing.
    Well it is showing what they should be doing but are not.

    Close it down.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is not rocket science, a blind man could see that the severity of such corrosion did not happen overnight. Where are the regular inspection reports, and who signed them off at Rubis and the regulator should be the questions raised!

    My fees are $1200 per hour, but then again they wouldn’t want to pay that to someone outside of OfReg.

  4. Anonymous says:

    6 years. Tell me what the petroleum inspectors do again?

    If they are inspecting they must have known for 5 years.

    Clise OfReg now.

  5. Dutty Cell says:

    When is OfReg going to look into certain telecom companies who’s infrastructure is totally crumbling and a certain MP’s company who only paints over the rust and degraded equipment .Who consistently rips off vendors and clients never pays bills .Hires crooks and outside suppliers an installation crews to come here and work illegally and circumvent immigration pension and health laws and regulations all the time. Who’s protected and prominent share holders are who is who of Cayman. So whilst we pay enormous bills to them we get little or nothing in return and if a Hurricane ever comes here the infrastructure will become a serious problem safety issue . Corruption unfortunately has become compulsory in Cayman! and OfReg is a part of it, too many “Good Ole Boyz cauch off up doing absolutely nothing but collecting Big Salaries and looking out for the brethren Dem!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Seems this spill is also a failure of OfReg to effectively dictate policy by demanding local oil companies be required follow API and NACE standards to the tee. More to the point, OfReg most likely don’t have any policy.
    Strange that contractors on site during 2014 were not mandated to perform API 653 on the tank that leaked. Other tanks at this bulk storage facility and in Cayman Brac were found to have significant bottom plate corrosion following API 653 investigations in 2014. The same reports mentioned the derelict status of cathodic protection equipment.
    Why was no action taken by OfReg in order to mitigate a growing concern highlighted in these reports? Who are OfReg answerable to for their continued failures?

    • Anonymous says:

      No one knows anything!
      None of them ever worked out in the field.
      Just a bunch of people who worked in marketing and now are inspectors lol
      None of them know anything about what they are looking at!!!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    ” “The matter is now closed…

    Is there a criminal negligence element?

    California methane leak leads to criminal charges

    Prosecutor smells crime, charges utility for huge gas leak.

    California gas leak was the worst man-made greenhouse-gas disaster in U.S. history, study says

  8. Anonymous says:

    “Rubis was aware of the problem with the tank for six years before it began to leak.”

    Who else knew of the problem for 6yrs before it leaked?

    Was Govt aware? Was Mr. Wight aware the leak too given he is a Rubis owner?

    200k fine seems a bit low Mr. Gough; anything you aren’t telling us here?

    • Anonymous says:

      Underground storage tanks at the former Rubis station on Shedden Rd., now the site of Cricket Square #6 were found to have leaked fuel over a period of 25+ years.

      Estimates of between 10K-20K gallons of fuel leaked. The main drinking water supply line for the gas station was found to be contaminated (3x over WHO standards for BTEX). The extents of the contaminate plume were never delineated as site investigations were kept to certain parcel boundaries.

      No party was ever fined over that disastrous incident, although the authorities (OfReg, Water Authority) did their best to keep it out of the press and public domain.

      Simply put OfReg are “derelict in their duty” to protect the public, period!

    • Anonymous says:

      He can’t tell you anything, he just got there. Not like he would anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Wight owns a gas station, he has nothing to do with the storage facility owned by RUBIS

  9. Anonymous says:

    offReg: we need a person to impartially investigate this. who should we hire? I know! The former Rubis Country manager that was fired for incompetence, surely he will be impartial!

    You legitimately cant make up how awful every decision offReg makes truly is.


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