Scotland, Strikes and the forthcoming fuel crisis


Here in Scotland, half of the UK North Sea output - some 770,000 barrels of OIL per DAY flow past my house (the pipe is less than five miles away). It heads off down to Grangemouth, where its refined and turned from sludge (North Sea crude oil is really thick..) into things like Petrol and Diesel fuel. Now, since we've had a new Prime Minister imposed on us, more and more folks want to go on strike. 1,200 workers at Grangemouth are going on strike this weekend, and the refinery is in the process of being shut down.

So. The increasingly-inept government are shouting at us to not panic buy fuel. However, there's already some shortages, and its only going to get worse.

It really underlines this 'just in time' culture we've now completely dependant on, and shows just what little resilience is built into our distribution systems. If the threat of a two day strike (causing a four day shutdown, and a loss to the UK government of £50m a DAY) by 1,200 people at a single refinery can bring a third (geographically speaking) of the UK to a standstill, imagine if we had a serious problem?

(The picture is from my local filling station this morning - I took the bike to the Bank and had to fill her up..)

UpdateDrove past the same filling station at 5pm, and they had completely ran out of fuel, as had the other filling station in town. The only fuel for 25 miles is now a service station, which is charging an extra 15p per LITER. And on the radio, the government ministers are saying there's no fuel crisis..