Chevron halts sales of bad batch of gas in world's energy capital

HOUSTON, July 10 Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:07pm EDT

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HOUSTON, July 10 (Reuters) - U.S. oil company Chevron Corp on Thursday said it halted sales last week of a bad batch of premium and mid-grade gasoline at stations around Houston, the world's energy capital, and will compensate customers who say their cars were damaged.

The sales halt came after an undisclosed number of drivers began complaining of "performance issues" with their automobiles burning premium gasoline at Chevron- and Texaco-branded stations in the greater Houston area, said company spokesman Braden Reddall.

Some 500 stations were initially included in the sales halt as a precaution. Chevron has since allowed about 375 stations to resume sales. It is working to determine how to pull gasoline from 125 affected stations.

"When it became clear we were having a problem we suspended the sales," he said.

Regular gasoline was not affected. There were no complaints about mid-grade gasoline, but sales were suspended because it is blended with premium gasoline.

Chevron will compensate those with complaints on a case-by-case basis, Reddall said.

The gasoline came from a terminal in the Houston suburb of Galena Park, Texas, where additives are blended with the fuel, he said.

The Galena Park terminal receives gasoline from a variety of refineries along the Gulf Coast. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Terry Wade and Lisa Shumaker)

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