Britain’s Businesses Secretary has temporarily exempted the country’s fuel industry from competition law, to tackle fuel shortages at some petrol stations.
Supply-chain problems – including a shortage of lorry drivers – have led to panic buying in some areas of Britain.
Speaking after a meeting with the industry yesterday (26 September), Kwasi Kwarteng said the suspension of the Competition Act 1998 would allow oil companies to share information in order to optimise supply.
Bid to minimise disruption
The British government said that, under what is known as the Downstream Oil Protocol, it would work with fuel producers, suppliers, hauliers, and retailers to ensure that disruption was minimised as far as possible.
“While there has always been, and continues to be, plenty of fuel at refineries and terminals, we are aware that there have been some issues with supply chains,” said Kwarteng.
The Petrol Retailers Association has warned that as many as two-thirds of its membership of nearly 5,500 independent outlets are out of fuel.