Demand for diesel putting pressure on UK refineries

Fuel Prices
British diesel pumps are in danger of running out of fuel because of a growing dependence on foreign sources, according to the RAC Foundation.

With the number of diesel cars on the road growing every year, UK refineries are struggling to cope with the demand.
RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding told the BBC: "Even if we are not in conflict with those countries that control the taps, they might simply decide they need more of what they produce for their own markets.

He added: "If the supply is interrupted, then at best we'll see sharp rises in forecourt prices and, at worst, there is the unlikely but real possibility of pumps running dry."

The number of diesel vehicles on Britain's roads has increased dramatically, with 11 million diesel-powered cars recorded on the road last year. In contrast, there were just 1.6 million on the road in 1994.

In 2009 there were nine large refineries located in the UK. Since that time, three have shut down and many of those left are up for sale. The older refineries that exist were never set up to produce diesel as it was relatively specific product that didn't have a huge demand when the refineries were set up in the 1960's.

Mr Gooding said about updating the refineries that: "Retrofitting them is a billion pound decision that has failed to stack up for investors.

Mr Gooding went on to say: "The UK keeps fuel reserves in case of emergencies, but they are not uniformly spread and the south east of England is particularly vulnerable to shocks to the supply chain."
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