Odorless gas results in a warning

The national regulatory agency said that liquid petroleum gas being produced in the country did not pass the small test June 17.

A warning has been issued to the public, and the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo has been asked to take corrective steps.

Petroleum gas does not have an odor that humans can sense.  So disagreeable smelling substances are deliberately put in the gas in case of a leak. The Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said its sensing machines should have been able to detect ethyl mercaptan or dimethyl sulfide. A government decree covers the percentage of these additives in petroleum gas.

The refinery is supposed to present a report Tuesday detailing the measures it has taken to correct the problem.

The tests were taken at the refinery plant in Moín.

The agency said it was very worried that some of this odorless gas has gotten into the chain of commerce. This is the gas many Costa Ricans use for cooking and heating water.

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