Drivers face petrol shortages as eco zealots block oil refineries for four days

4 April 2022, 20:56 | Updated: 4 April 2022, 20:58

Some petrol stations are suffering fuel shortages after Just Stop Oil protesters blocked access to oil refineries
Some petrol stations are suffering fuel shortages after Just Stop Oil protesters blocked access to oil refineries. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

People across the country have reported fuel shortages at petrol forecourts as protests at oil refineries enter their fourth day.

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Drivers in parts of the South East and the midlands reported not being able to buy fuel at a number of petrol stations, after demonstrators from Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Just Stop Oil blockaded roads used to access oil refineries in Birmingham and London.

People took to social media to vent their frustration, with one Twitter user writing: "Can someone please tell me why every single petrol station in Norwich has been closed for 2 days straight?"

Another tweeted Sainsbury's, saying: "I am sat on your petrol forecourt at Norwich longwater, and have been refused fuel, after trying to get fuel from 5 other stations to no avail."

Another driver posted: "At risk of causing another run on the pumps, is anyone else in the south east experiencing empty fuel pumps?"

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Eco protesters have staged four days of protests at oil terminals, starting on Friday - the day the 54 per cent increase in the energy price cap came into force.

Around 10 oil refineries were targeted on the first day of protests, but on Monday only the Esso West London Oil Terminal near Heathrow Airport was still blocked, according to an Esso spokesperson.

The demonstrators were demanding the Government halts all new oil and gas projects.

As of Sunday afternoon, more than 200 protesters were arrested.

Of that total, 155 were in Essex, where demonstrators in Thurrock said they had dug tunnels underneath the roads leading to the terminals.

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One Just Stop Oil protester, a former oil and gas worker from Grangemouth in Scotland, said oil companies were "stealing our children's future" and making huge profits when "local people see massive hikes in fuel costs and their cost of living".

"I worked in the oil and gas industry for thirty five years, I have witnessed first hand the damage that burning fossil fuels has done," said Kenny Alexander.

"There is billions of pounds worth of oil flowing through my community, yet it all belongs to a few private companies, who are literally stealing our children’s future.

"They are making billions in profits while local people see massive hikes in fuel costs and their cost of living."

Another protester, Brighton student Miranda Whelehan, said the Government had a "love affair with oil" that British people were paying for.

"Those who burn the least oil or have contributed the least to this fossil-fuel addicted society, are now paying the highest price," she said.

"Ordinary people are being forced to pay for our government's love affair with oil, while those responsible get tax-cuts and have 'more money than they know what to do with'."