Scott annoyed over fuel price

MSP Tavish Scott has repeated his call for the Office of Fair Trading to step in over the continued high price of fuel in the isles.

Referring to the delay between prices dropping in Shetland, he repeated his accusation that Scottish Fuels and its owner GB Oils were profiteering at the expense of residents and businesses.

Mr Scott said: “Since the peak in crude oil prices in July, the price has slumped. Brent crude’s price has dropped to around 40 per cent of its peak price. In the south, the prices motorists pay at the pump have followed the crude price down.

“Some supermarkets have now dropped their prices to 92.9 pence per litre for petrol and 106.9 pence for diesel. In Lerwick the current lowest prices are more like 113.9 pence for petrol and 121.9 pence for diesel, so the price differential of over 20 pence on petrol remains.

“In the past, one excuse for the delay in Lerwick pump prices following world oil prices down has been that the price is set by the oil price when the last tanker left Grangemouth, though strangely I don’t seem to remember the same time lag when prices have been going up.

“But since the delivery in the middle of July, when prices were at their peak, there have been nine further tanker deliveries to Scottish Fuel’s North Ness depot, roughly one every fortnight, so there can be no excuse for the slow drop in prices in Lerwick.”

Mr Scott said he remained convinced that Scottish Fuels was ruthlessly exploiting its monopoly in Shetland.

“In Orkney, the monopoly has been broken by road tankers bring­ing in fuel by ferry from Caithness – even with the ferry costs they have been able to undercut Scottish Fuels and supply filling stations at a significantly lower cost.”

He said the Office of Fair Trading alone had the power to investigate fully the monopoly and it must do so now.


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