Illegal cigarettes seized in Llanelli as part of major crackdown on illegal traders
THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT is suspending competition law to allow oil companies to target fuel deliveries to service stations following recent panic buying.
Gas stations in Llanelli and the UK have struggled to stay stocked in recent days, with several completely dry. Other squares are running out of certain fuels, diesel seems to be particularly in demand.
Officials said the move would make it easier for companies to share information and prioritize areas of the country that need it most.
This follows days of long lines at pumps, after fears of disruption in fuel supplies triggered higher-than-usual demand at gas pumps.
The news comes after it emerged hundreds of troops could be rushed to deliver fuel to dry gas stations across the country. The plan is expected to be reviewed by Boris Johnson on Monday, September 27.
Prime Minister will convene senior cabinet officials to review ‘Operation Escalin’ after BP admitted that a third of its service stations ran out of the two main grades of fuel, while the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) , which represents nearly 5,500 of independent outlets, said 50 to 90 percent of its members said they were out of stock. He predicted the rest would follow soon.
Designed years ago while planning a no-deal Brexit, “Operation Escalin” would mean hundreds of troops would be enlisted to lead a reserve fleet of 80 tankers. It is understood that full implementation would take up to three weeks, as some of those mobilized may already be on other deployments and others may be Reservists. Escalin was touted as an option last week, but government sources have played down the chances of its activation.
Announcing the measure to exempt the oil industry from the Competition Act of 1998, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the government had “long-standing” contingency plans to maintain fuel supplies.
“While there has always been and always has been a lot of fuel in refineries and terminals, we recognize that there have been issues with supply chains.
“This is why we will adopt the Downstream Petroleum Protocol to ensure that the industry can share vital information and work together more effectively to ensure that disruption is minimized.
“We thank the truck drivers and all the staff at the forecourt for their hard work during this time. “
Transportation Secretary Grant Shappson on Sunday urged people to “be reasonable” and blamed “one of the trucking associations” for what he called a manufactured crisis, suggesting on Sky News that the group leaked details of a meeting last week on driver shortages at fuel companies. However, the Road Haulage Association called it a “shameful attack” concocted to “distract” from the government’s handling of the problem.
BP, Esso, Texaco and Shell introduced a £ 30 limit on fuel purchases after motorists were seen filling several jerry cans as the government warned the public not to panic to buy fuel.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We are experiencing temporary blackouts in a small number of areas. We have good fuel availability and we work very hard to ensure regular deliveries to our service stations across the UK every day. “
A BP spokesperson said: “We are experiencing fuel supply issues at some of our UK retail locations. This is caused by delays in our supply chain due to a shortage of qualified drivers – this issue is impacting industries across the UK.
“Most of the 1,200 locations we supply across the UK remain supplied and open. However, with the intense demand observed over the last two days, we estimate that around 30% of the sites in this network currently do not have any of the main qualities of fuel. We are working to restock as quickly as possible. Sites that have multiple tiers may have closed for fuel purchases – we do not have an estimate of this number.
“We continue to work hard with our carrier supplier, Hoyer, to optimize fuel delivery and minimize the level of disruption, by supplying key sites and restocking as quickly as possible. The sites concerned evolve as we continue deliveries.
“We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”
Shell added, “We are working hard to ensure supply to customers. Since Friday, we have observed a higher than normal demand on our entire network, which leads to a drop in certain sites for certain qualities. “