The UK was hit with another string of fuel shortages earlier this month after protesters from climate activism groups Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion blocked several oil terminals across the UK. And now, an expert has claimed that the shortages are to blame for “widespread disruption” across the UK.
Dan Powell, Senior Editor at Desperate Seller, exclusively told Express.co.uk that fuel shortages could affect UK drivers in the long term.
Mr Powell said: “There is no doubt that fuel shortages have caused widespread disruption across the UK.
“In April 2019, the average retail price of unleaded petrol was 122p – that has now soared in three years to 162p, the 33 percent increase driven by rising wholesale costs.”
He continued: “Whilst London and other major cities have been affected the most, areas further away from city centres have also suffered due to a lack of available resources.
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Both groups said they want to disrupt fuel supplies to London and the South East of England and will continue to do so until the Government agrees to stop all new fossil fuel investments immediately.
Oil pipeline distributors ExxonMobil UK said the protest, which started on 1 April, shut down three of its terminals as a result.
Diesel supplies were already tight, as global stocks of diesel and other middle distillates have fallen to the lowest seasonal level since 2008, due to refinery shutdowns during the start of the pandemic and a rise in demand since.
Unlike Europe, which is short of diesel, the Middle East usually has a surplus.
But increasing flows to Europe from the Middle East and the US will take time, one trader said, adding that for this reason “for now things will have to stay the same”.
Neil Crosby, senior oil analyst at OilX, told the BBC: “Stocks of lots of fuels are relatively low, but diesel in particular, in Europe, in the US and in Asia as well.”
He added: “The demand for diesel has been very strong up until the crisis, and that also contributed to that. There’s just an imbalance between supply and demand.”
The war in Ukraine has exacerbated this, due to sanctions placed on Russia.
Russia supplied 18 percent of the UK’s diesel in 2020, and finding alternative supplies to replace this is very difficult.
A spokesperson for UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA) told Reuters that fuel suppliers are working with the Government to deliver the fuels the UK needs “while adjusting long-term supply routes to reduce reliance on Russian crude oil and oil products”.