Fuel shortage fears spark panic buying

Queues of cars have been spotted outside petrol stations across the country following news that forecourts are closing after deliveries of fuel were reduced to the driver shortage.

Esso owner ExxonMobil has revealed that deliveries of petrol and diesel to its forecourts across the UK will be reduced to ensure supplies do not run out.

The company said that a “small number” of Esso-operated petrol stations are affected with around 200 Tesco Express sites facing shortages.

A spokesperson said: “We are working closely with all parties in our distribution network to optimise supplies and minimise any inconvenience to customers.”

The news comes a day after BP said they would be rationing fuel.

Transport minister, Grant Shapps, told Sky: “As of last night, five petrol stations on the BP network out of 12 or 1,300 were affected.

“I’m meeting this morning with Tesco and I’m sure they’ll give me the update for themselves. None of the other retailers said they had any closures.”

Meanwhile, other reports suggest that ministers are discussing placing servicemen on standby to drive petrol tankers. Contingency plans, called Operation Escalin, would go into action if the situation gets worse.