Today Petroplus, one of Britain’s biggest fuel refineries, went bust. The Swiss firm, who took over the UK Coryton refinery from the government in 2007 for $1.4bn (£900m), had been in trouble for a while, but talks with the UK government and other funding sources regarding lifelines and monetary injections have as of yet fallen short. Steven Pearson of PwC has said that the company would be starting discussions over the coming days with customers, employees, creditors and the government “to secure the future” of both sites, and conversations are starting all around to try and find ways to secure jobs and oil supplies as this crisis develops.
So, what does the fall of Petroplus mean for you, as a motorist?
Well, Petroplus supply 10% of the country’s current fuel, and as of today all fuel sales have been halted with immediate effect. So, we can understand why scaremongering newspapers (we’re looking at you, Daily Mail) are jumping up and down screeching about fuel shortages, strikes, and (if the rhetoric is anything to go by) the impending doom of the human race.
Still, sinister hyperbole aside, is this something to be worried about? Are drivers suddenly going to see a hike a cost and a fall in fuel availability.
According to The Department of Energy and Climate Change, this isn’t the case. Their spokesman is on record saying:
“The refinery remains operational. We understand that a process is underway to put in place the necessary commercial arrangements to deliver product into the market. Companies have already made alternative arrangements to ensure adequate supply of products are available while these commercial arrangements are being put in place.”
In addition BP have confirmed that there are no immediate supply issues across their retail network, which should ensure that the current fuel market remains stable for the timebeing. Alternativbe funding for the refinary or suppliers will need to be found, but right now motorists shouldn’t be worrying.
The temptation is always to stock up, to queue up and panic buy in advance of the fuel apocalypse. But here at THE Blog About Cars we think it is sensible to sit back and see how the situation develops – as right now it looks like we’ll be OK.
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