The British government’s contingency plan in the event of a fuel crisis is 10 points. Three of them have already been launched or are in the process of being launched, Sky News reported. As she added, the plan was created in 2011 and was updated at the beginning of last year.
The contingency plan consists of two parts, each with five points. The first is about measures to maintain supply, the second is about measures to control supply and demand.
Fuel Crisis Plan – Points
Measures to maintain supplies include: Suspension of the Oil Sector Protocol, which allows competing oil companies and fuel distributors to work together; the launch of a reserve tank fleet to provide additional capacity; employment of additional tanker drivers, including military truck drivers; loosening the rules on working hours for truck drivers to allow them to work longer; release of UK crude oil reserves in response to global supply disruptions.
In contrast, the measures to control supply and demand include: a system of dedicated gas stations with priority access for emergency vehicles and key sectors; a system of priority wholesale fuel distribution for emergency services, public transport and utilities; priority fuel distribution system at stations for vehicles used in key supply chains, including the food supply sector and health care; introducing the maximum amount of fuel each person can buy and limiting the opening hours of gas stations; temporary government takeover of direct management of fuel distribution in the country.
Sky News points out that business minister Kwasi Kwarteng suspended the oil sector protocol on Sunday. The government also announced the use of military truck drivers to help distribute fuel and a temporary loosening of the regulations on drivers’ working hours.
Shortages in transport, shortages at petrol stations
Both the UK government and the oil industry say the current gas station shortages are entirely the result of consumer behavior, after BP and other companies warned the government that they were considering rationing supplies due to a shortage of tanker drivers. This warning, they indicate, caused car drivers to panic for fuel. However, Transport Minister Grant Shapps said Tuesday the signs of panicky purchases were starting to wane.
According to the representatives of the transport industry, about 100,000 are missing. truck drivers. After Brexit, around 25,000 people left the UK. drivers, and the COVID-19 pandemic suspended the process of obtaining qualifications by new employees in the transport industry for almost a year.
For higher than usual fuel demand The British-Dutch petrochemical company Royal Dutch Shell drew attention. Over the weekend, the EG Group chain, operating at nearly 350 stations, introduced a gasoline purchase limit of up to £ 30 per customer. The BP concern announced the temporary closure of some stations. Problems with the availability of fuel at its stations were also reported by ExxonMobil.
The BBC said on Tuesday that up to 150 military tanker drivers are expected to help deliver fuel to UK gas stations. She pointed out that these drivers must undergo specialized training, which can take up to five days, which means that they cannot get involved in solving the fuel crisis immediately.
British Transport Minister Grant Shapps said Tuesday the panic bouts of fuel at stations have calmed down somewhat. “We are starting to see panic buying calming down and there are more types of fuel in more stations,” he told reporters.
He also called for water bottles not to be brought to gas stations, which is both dangerous and not helping to resolve the crisis. This call is the result of photos posted in the media, in which some drivers fill up with fuel not only for cars, but also for makeshift canisters.
Meanwhile, the price of gasoline in the UK has risen from its eight-year high. The average price of a liter of unleaded petrol in the UK on Sunday was 136.59p, the highest since September 2013, RAC, which provides roadside assistance and other driver services, said Tuesday.
In response to the oil crisis, the British government announced that it would grant up to 5,000. temporary three-month visas for tanker drivers and supply drivers to avoid a shortage of goods before Christmas. However, drivers from European Union countries quoted by the British media indicate that this offer is not very attractive, because three months is too short to be profitable.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / NEIL HALL