Why is there a diesel shortage? How to check if diesel is available near you

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After the widespread shortages in autumn 2021, it would appear diesel drivers are out of luck again as more shortages plague UK forecourts. Areas of the UK have reported shortages at petrol stations over the course of the weekend, and the disruption looks likely to continue into next week.

Why is there a diesel shortage?

Shortages of supplies being delivered to petrol stations are due to protests at UK oil refineries by climate activists – otherwise, there is no actual shortage of fuel itself.

Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion have blocked key terminals in recent days.

The two groups said their aim is to disrupt fuel supplies to London and the South East of England and will continue to do so until the Government agrees to stop all new fossil fuel investments with immediate effect.

On Friday and over the weekend, a site in Erdington was blockaded by environmental campaigners, and further protests took place at Tamworth and across the UK.

Protesters were glued to roads, suspended on bamboo tripods, and locked onto oil drums and each other from around 4am on Friday, April 1.

As a result, ExxonMobil UK, one of the country’s largest privately-owned underground oil pipeline distribution networks, said it was forced to shut down three of its terminals.

The action has led to petrol and diesel travelling to forecourts has been delayed, causing the ongoing diesel shortage at the pumps.

Currently, petrol supplies at forecourts do not seem to be affected.

What’s more, the war in Ukraine is having a negative effect on diesel supplies as a whole.

Global stocks of diesel have fallen to the lowest seasonal level since 2008, due to refinery shutdowns during the start of the pandemic and a rise in demand following the end of heavy restrictions in many countries.

Now, the UK is finding alternative supplies to the once regular imports from Russia – around 18 percent of the UK’s diesel came from Russia in 2020.

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Which areas are worst affected?

The worst affected areas are concentrated in the southeast of England, but there have also been reports of shortages in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Worcestershire.

Fuel supplies have also been affected in Weymouth in Dorset and in Kidlington in Oxfordshire, according to reports.

How can I check if a pump has diesel near me?

There is no sure-fire way to check the availability of certain types of fuel in your area.

However, one indication of whether you will be able to get fuel quickly and efficiently near you is via Google Maps.

By searching for petrol stations near your location, you can see in live time how busy they are.

If a station has a large bar for the current time and is either busy or busier than average, it’s more likely they have fuel available.

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