UK retailers have reported that it is "business as usual" at BP forecourts,

although storm clouds are gathering. As the oil company prepared to apologise to the US over the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill, while offering to set up a multi-billion pound compensation fund as well as scrapping its shareholder dividend, UK forecourt owners

said they were continuing to trade as normal.

However, the industry needs to prepare for fuel price increases as a result of the oil spill, according to RMI Petrol chairman Brian Madderson.

Maddersonn warned: "As far as the UK is concerned, it’s business as usual for BP. We do, however, detect that the global oil price is creeping back up again. It dropped to $69 a barrel, but now it’s above £75 a barrel.

"Speculators are coming back in and buying oil. The message from the US is that they’re not doing any more drilling for oil at the moment. So there could well be a bit of a shortage.

"That’s the BP impact. It looks like, for the future, the US drilling ban will help to push prices up again."