Confusion over petrol shortages

CONFUSION today surrounded a petrol delivery crisis which has left some forecourts in Ipswich completely dry.

Simon Tomlinson

CONFUSION today surrounded a petrol delivery crisis which has left some forecourts in Ipswich completely dry.

The problem is thought to have been caused by a power cut at an oil refinery in Essex.

It has left several garages in the dark as to when they can expect their next supplies, with some having to turn customers away.

The situation has also been compounded by falling fuel prices which saw one garage yesterday deluged by twice as many customers as usual.

Ann Zirkler, a member of staff at the Sainsbury's garage in Warren Heath, said: “We haven't got any petrol at the moment. We are expecting a delivery but it doesn't look very promising at the moment.

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“We got an e-mail through yesterday that said there would be a delivery between 7am and 9am today, but that was cancelled.”

Ram Bala, assistant manager at the BP station in Meredith Road, Ipswich, said he was out of all fuel and didn't expect a delivery until Monday.

Tom von Etzdors, who owns a company which operates seven Shell franchises in Suffolk, said they were also suffering shortages but added Shell was doing its best to keep supplies coming.

A cashier at the Shell in Heath Road said: “All I know is that we have had notification of orders but they have been cancelled.”

Yousuf Baig manager of the BP garage in Spring Road, Ipswich said: “We are supposed to have a tanker coming but I don't whether we will get it or not.”

The problem is believed to have stemmed from the Coryton Oil Refinery in Stanford-le-Hope, where there was a power outage which prevented them from pumping fuel into delivery tankers.

It appears not all companies in the region are supplied by the refinery and while some are suffering shortages, others are not aware of a problem.

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