World, Economy

UK considers army assistance to deliver fuel at pumps amid shortage

Fuel shortage sees long queues at petrol stations due to panic buying

Ahmet Gurhan Kartal   | 27.09.2021
UK considers army assistance to deliver fuel at pumps amid shortage

LONDON

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering assistance from the army to deliver fuel to petrol stations amid a nationwide shortage at pumps due to panic buying.

Johnson and senior ministers will convene on Monday to initiate "Operation Escalin," which will enable hundreds of servicemen to drive lorries to deliver fuel to forecourts.

The move will follow a statement from Petrol Retailers Association said 50% to 90% of its members of 5,500 members reported that they were running out of petrol.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on Sunday said the government has suspended the competition law in a bid to allow "share information so that they can more easily prioritize the delivery of fuel to the parts of the country and strategic locations that are most in need."

"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," Kwarteng said.

"This is why we will enact the Downstream Oil Protocol to ensure the industry can share vital information and work together more effectively to ensure disruption is minimized," he added.

"We thank HGV drivers and all forecourt staff for their tireless work during this period."

The government is also planning to issue around 5,000 emergency visas for foreign lorry drivers to overcome the delivery issues in the run-up to the festive season.

The panic buying has continued for more than a week, causing long queues at pumps.

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