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Extra oil due to dock in Scotland

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Extra oil due to dock in Scotland

Post by jason on Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:52 am

Additional supplies of fuel are due to begin arriving in Scotland to cope with the Grangemouth strike which is nearing the end of its first day.

More than 1,000 staff at Scotland's only oil refinery walked out for 48-hours on Sunday amid a pensions row.

Meanwhile, UK and Scottish ministers have urged the two sides to get back round the negotiating table.

A tanker laden with 3,000 tonnes of diesel and kerosene was due to dock in Aberdeen on Sunday evening.

Seven additional shipments will also arrive in the Forth into the early part of next week, containing nearly 65,000 tonnes of fuel, to provide 10 days' worth.

Grangemouth staff walked out at 0600 BST, before picketing the refinery and holding a rally.

They will continue their walkout on Monday.

The strike also caused the closure of BP's key Forties oil pipeline, which provides 30% of the UK's daily oil output from the North Sea.

Refinery operator Ineos and the Unite union both agreed it was a "sad day" for Grangemouth, but they have yet to agree fresh talks to resolve the dispute.

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, said: "What must happen now is that the two parties engage in discussions to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible."

He went on: "From across Europe,unprecedented supplies of additional fuel are arriving over the coming days to make up for the loss of production at Grangemouth.

"This will provide extra reassurance for consumers and businesses alike as we look ahead to the coming working week."

News of the strike sparked a period of increased buying - leaving some of Scotland's 956 filling station forecourts short.

The Scottish Government said that by Midday on Saturday, five were out of fuel and 70 were partly out of fuel - but warned there may be problems at the beginning of next week as they waited to be replenished.

Industry body, Oil and Gas UK, said the strike could cost the UK 50m a day.

Ineos general manager Gordon Grant said the company's current contribution to employees' pensions was "unsustainable", adding that Grangemouth needed 750m investment - or jobs would be jeopardised in a competitive sector.

He said: "We bent over backwards to try and avoid this strike but, unfortunately, the trade unions have decided to go ahead with it - premature in our view - but that's what they've done."

Pat Rafferty, from the union Unite, told the BBC that members were still willing to speak with management and claimed the public had given the striking workers a lot of support.

He said: "We've been backed into a corner a bit by the stance the company's taking. It's something we've got no pleasure out of and that's been reflected in our members walking out."

Douglas Robertson, chief executive of the Scottish Motor Trade Association, which represents petrol retailers in Scotland, said members of the public were unnecessarily stocking up on fuel and putting supplies at risk.

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Tayside and Central | Extra oil due to dock in Scotland

jason
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