Great Britain: Panic-buyers may scupper bid to renew supplygreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Great Britain: Panic-buyers may scupper bid to renew supply
BY OLIVER WRIGHT AND CHRISTINA STOKES
THE huge task of restocking Britain's 9,000 petrol stations began in earnest yesterday as oil companies kept depots and refineries open round the clock to increase supplies.
By last night around a third of all garages had received petrol and industry experts said that more than half of all filling stations would be able to reopen by Monday.
There were concerns, however, that abnormally high demand and panic-buying could cause some petrol stations to close again before new supplies reached them.
"Things are changing by the hour," said a spokesman for BP, who added that the number of petrol stations open by the weekend would be 600 - down from an earlier estimate of 700. "It appears that people are still bulk-buying. If that continues we may be forced to close some stations again."
Supplies have been targeted at 2,500 strategically placed petrol stations in an attempt to ensure that as many people as possible can refuel. By last night most of those petrol stations had received fuel supplies and oil companies were working to supply other parts of their network.
On the motorways, Welcome Break said 19 out of their 23 filling stations had supplies of fuel while Granada had 22 out of 30 sites operational.
A spokeswoman for TotalFinaElf, which has about 600 of its 1,400 stations open across the country, said customers should notice a big difference within two to three days but it would take much longer to restore the pumps to pre-blockade levels."It could be 15 days at least before our petrol supplies are up to their normal levels," she said.
A spokesman for BP said that if panic-buying continued it would take longer to resupply filling stations. "We heard reports that one man tried to put just nine pence worth of petrol into his tank to fill it up to the very top," he said.
In Hampshire drivers queueing for petrol brought tankers that were leaving a fuel depot to a halt.
In Scotland oil managers said that about 1,200 tankers would have left the Grangemouth oil refinery by midnight with a further 2,500 deliveries expected by Monday.
In Edinburgh and Glasgow many pumps remained dry and queues were lengthy on many forecourts, although several councils were ending their emergency procedures.
In the Borders council staff asked motorists to ration themselves to #10 of fuel until next week and warned parents that school buses may be disrupted on Monday.
The Scottish Executive said that the crisis should be over by Monday. "Normality of fuel distribution in Scotland should be close to being achieved at the beginning of the week," a spokesman said.All agencies involved are working hard to achieve this. We ask the public to be patient."
In Merseyside, however, emergency measures were lifted and all petrol stations opened to the general public. Superintendent Peter Clarke, who has been helping to supervise deliveries to garages in the area, said the situation had improved.
"There is plenty of fuel arriving in Merseyside and if people don't panic-buy the situation will rapidly return to normal.
"It is important that people only fill up when they need to. This will reduce the queues and traffic congestion in some parts of the area."
-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), September 15, 2000
There has to be economic repercussions from all this madness. I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet.
-- Chance (email@example.com), September 15, 2000.
This oil and protest news is coming so fast and furios now I can hardly stay up with it.
Thank God for GICC.
-- LillyLP (lillyLP@aol.com), September 15, 2000.
Oh, yes; you just don't stay with the flavor of what is happening anywhere else.
-- Nancy7 (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 15, 2000.
If the Euro tanks, at some time and place, as it must, soon -- it has dropped precipitously - world financial markets are in big fnancial trouble over all of this.
-- Billiver (email@example.com), September 15, 2000.
I can't believe how calm the Paris and London markets have stayed through all of this. Could it be the calm before the storm?
-- Wellesley (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 15, 2000.