Danger Britain’s diesel pumps could run dry

Dependence on foreign markets puts supply at risk

Diesel is more popular than ever in the UK, but there is a growing risk that our supplies could run dry, according to a new report by the RAC Foundation.

The cause is the UK’s dependence on foreign fuel. We currently consumer twice as much diesel as we produce, and demand is forecast to surge, with diesel becoming four times more popular than petrol by 2030.

Currently we import a large proportion of fuel from countries including India and Russia, which, according to the foundation, will leave us “at the mercy of the global market”.

Speaking to the BBC, RACF director Steve Gooding said: “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.

“If 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.”

He also warned that London could be hit hardest in the event of a run on diesel.

“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,” he said.

Meanwhile the growth in diesel has been the cause of a growing pollution problem in London, which has seen soaring levels of toxic Nitrogen Oxide (NO2).

In April this year, Jon Averns, the public protection director at the City of London Corporation, said companies should look at the possibility of using fewer diesel powered vehicles in a bid to cut pollution.  

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Readers' comments (1)

  • A very unbalanced article. Diesel demand predicted to surge by 2030 being 4 times as popular as petrol? Only the last few lines hold the key here, projections of diesel usage are based on current demand growth over a period of years. Only recently has the backlash against diesel begun, and it, particularly in cities, will increase rapidly with environmental concerns and health issues. Manufacturers hold the key here with technology changes which will rapidly mean diesel can and will become obsolete. Even cruise ships planned for construction in the next generation of ships are going for LPG. A thoroughly misleading article which misses the point entirely, unusual for LLB!

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