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The BBC's Graham Satchell
"Direct action is taking its toll"
 real 56k

Protester Shaun Harris in Bristol
"Everybody's feelings are running very high"
 real 28k

Sunday, 10 September, 2000, 19:02 GMT 20:02 UK
Fuel dwindles as protests spread
Refineries and deopts hit by protests
Main refineries and depots targeted across the UK
Petrol station shortages are growing as protests at refineries, fuel depots and on major roads spread around the country.

Some areas have seen panic-buying as campaigners against the rising price of road fuel have ignored the government's refusal to be swayed.

Motorists queue for petrol at Swadlincote, South Derbyshire
Garage queues are appearing in several areas

The north of England and North Wales are the worst-hit areas, with Shell's giant Stanlow refinery near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, and the major Manchester Fuels Terminal distribution depot brought to a standstill by the action.

Up to 100 of Shell's filling stations in the North-West and North Wales have run dry and long queues formed for petrol in parts of Yorkshire.

Roy Holloway, director of the Petrol Retailers' Association said: "It is not critical by any means but it is getting worse."

"If these actions continue into the early part of next week there will be severe difficulties."

Other protests
Jarrow, in Tyne and Wear, Shell terminal blockaded
North Killingholme, Lincolnshire, Lindsey oil refinery blockaded
A1, north Nottinghamshire, go-slow convoy
A55, north west Wales, go-slow convoy

Fresh action by hauliers has been launched at the giant oil terminal at Immingham on the Humber estuary, a major supplier to the region.

Protesters also closed the country's largest inland oil terminal at Kingsbury in the West Midlands and action has continued at fuel depots in Avonmouth near Bristol and the Cardiff docks area.

Protest at the main entrance of Texaco's Pembrokeshire refinery
Truckers block Texaco's Pembrokeshire refinery

Others blockading refineries in Pembroke, west Wales, and in nearby Milford Haven only agreed to let fuel out if it is destined for use by the emergency services.

Farmers and hauliers organised "go-slow" convoys including one which brought the A1 near Alnwick, Northumbria, to a standstill.

Protesters claim to have halted around 200 tanker movements at the Manchester Fuels Terminal, which services Esso, Texaco and Elf outlets, and to have hit fuel supplies for Liverpool airport.

French blockades end

The campaign escalated as it was announced that all blockades at France's refineries and depots had been lifted after a deal between government and unions.

At the same time the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) announced the pumping of an extra 800,000 barrels a day to bring down petrol prices - but without a timetable for when the extra fuel might come on line.

There is no quick fix on this

Scottish Secretary Dr John Reid

The government insisted "there is no quick fix", blaming high petrol costs on increased oil prices.

But campaigners remain defiant. A spokesman for hauliers protesting in Manchester, Roy Masterson, said: "We are doing this for the people of Great Britain."

"We will not be competitive in Europe or anywhere else if we have the highest transportation costs in the world."

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See also:

10 Sep 00 | Business
Opec agrees oil boost
10 Sep 00 | Business
Opec pressured over oil prices
09 Sep 00 | Europe
France emerges from fuel crisis
08 Sep 00 | Europe
Trapped Britons plan 'escape'
07 Sep 00 | Business
Petrol price rise anger
07 Sep 00 | Business
Oil price eases back
31 Aug 00 | Business
Oil markets explained
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