Hauliers angry at the rising cost of fuel have descended on two oil refineries in west Wales. About 65 lorries were reported to be outside Chevron in Pembroke Dock and Murco in Milford Haven, with protesters asking drivers not to leave the sites. Those involved in the demo, organised to pressure the government into reducing fuel tax, are also reported to be

saying they are prepared to stay there all week.

A spokesman for Chevron said: "The strike by drivers working for Hoyer UK and Suckling on the supply contract with Shell ended at 6am this morning and normal tanker deliveries are taking place from all Chevron locations.

"In addition, Chevron’s refinery in Pembroke is operating normally, helping to replenish supplies to service stations and other customers as quickly as possible. Currently, around 7% of our Texaco-branded service stations are experiencing shortages of one or more fuels and the areas worst affected are in Wales and the South West and these sites are being prioritised to ensure that they receive new deliveries as quickly as possible. However, it could take up to 48 hours before all stocked-out sites receive all their requirements.

"Separately, around 25 trucks are protesting about high fuel prices outside Pembroke refinery but this protest is peaceful and not affecting deliveries."

Ray Holloway, director of the Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA), said: “The whole situation - what with rising fuel prices, the Shell strike and retailers running out of fuel on the forecourt in the last few days - is pretty dire really. And we still don’t know where we are with things, especially as there’s the threat of a return to strike action from the Shell drivers. Since the Grangemouth strike in April, it’s been one thing after another for the industry.”

Retailers around the UK were still reporting stock-outs, while one retailer in Exeter sparked outrage by temporarily raising the price of unleaded petrol to £1.99 a litre - in a bid to stop customers panic buying.

For more details, see the July issue of Forecourt Trader.