Petrol Prices Soar as Supplies Dwindle in South East

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It feels as if every New Year sees petrol prices soar and this worrying trend has certainly not been bucked in the opening weeks of 2012. The average cost of unleaded petrol is currently over five pence more expensive per litre than it was this time twelve months ago. With reports that a major refinery in Essex may be forced to shut before February, those living in the South East of England are facing the possibility of even greater fuel costs in the near future.

This is a guest post by Lucy Pitt who publishes the latest energy news at Latest Green Energy.

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It feels as if every New Year sees petrol prices soar and this worrying trend has certainly not been bucked in the opening weeks of 2012. The average cost of unleaded petrol is currently over five pence more expensive per litre than it was this time twelve months ago. With reports that a major refinery in Essex may be forced to shut before February, those living in the South East of England are facing the possibility of even greater fuel costs in the near future.

Gas station at night

 

Petrol Companies in Crisis

The parent company of the Coryton refinery, Petroplus, has fallen into administration after making a loss of over £265million between January and September 2011. Petrol supplies have consequently been halted and insolvency issues may result in the Essex site’s closure as soon as this weekend. Coryton, one of eight refineries in the UK, supplies around one-fifth of all fuel to London and the South East, making the closure particularly concerning for drivers in this region.

Fears over Panic Buying Fuel

As supplies dwindle, motorists have been cautioned not to panic-buy fuel, with officials stating that alternative resources will be made available. Nevertheless, anxieties are being voiced over the likelihood of another surge in petrol prices if supplies cannot meet the high demand. Predictions that diesel prices could reach their highest levels ever by the end of January are not being dismissed by industry leaders.

Refinery Closures

Swiss-based Petroplus bought the Coryton refinery from BP in 2007. Its imminent closure will not only have severe repercussions for drivers, but also spells more bad news for unemployment figures, with over 1000 jobs now being in jeopardy. Perhaps this is a clear sign that the UK should be looking more seriously into sustainable energy resources. With public transport prices also increasing this month, bio-fuels certainly have the potential to be a more financially viable option, but whether a widely available green alternative to petrol becomes a reality in the UK remains to be seen.

A Warning about Biodiesel

On the surface, it could be argued that the use of biodiesel is increasing in the UK, but many drivers who think they are using pure biodiesel are not aware that what they are actually getting is a mixture which contains 5% biodiesel and 95% regular diesel. The Government are acting in line with the Road Transport Fuel Obligation, which requires that all fuel sold across the UK contains at least 5% biodiesel within the next few years. This small alteration to fuel seems pretty nominal and petrol companies are under no obligation to make it clear to customers that what they may think is carbon neutral fuel is actually diesel with a bit of biodiesel chucked in.

About Lucy Pitt

Lucy Pitt is a blogger and copywriter who writes on various subjects across the web. Lucy is passionate about environmental issues and green energy. To read more from Lucy visit her blog - Latest Green Energy

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