I wish to protest at the irresponsible way certain oil companies behave when pricing their company-owned sites against others, and in particular, their own dealer sites. Most oil companies blame hypermarkets for leading prices down, but research in the NE suggests to me that it is the oil companies who actually hold the prices down. There are several reasons for this of course, ranging from an excess of testosterone in certain territory/site managers, to flawed marker site selection. Pricing, which is set centrally by someone who has probably never set foot in the area, is also contributing to the problem. I wonder if these individuals actually assess what is happening on their sites before throwing themselves off the ‘pricing cliff’? I doubt it.

You may well wonder why this is of such great concern to me, but if I was to say that I operate seven sites on a Platts basis you may start to understand. The price of product rose sharply last week, forcing me to raise my prices, a task I do not shy away from, as like navigation on the high seas, a clear signal of intent avoids the risk of mayhem. However, a certain company in particular, supplied by Jet and known locally as FF, must surely have misinterpreted the signals from the bridge as it decided to drop its prices. I suppose 78.9p for unleaded does produce a whopping 0.328936ppl.

I understand the emotional reaction of FF as I am utterly frustrated by the oil company lust for volume while totally disregarding their own Platts dealers. Oil companies who now refuse to offer margin share deals should behave in a responsible manner.

Phil Richardson, Park Road Group, Co Durham