For Immediate Release:  Sunday 7th October 2012

 Attention: Newsdesks

Speaking prior to an Office of Fair Trading meeting tomorrow in the Islands, SNP MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil spoke of the need for changes in the fuel market on the islands.

Angus MacNeil MP said,

“I will be asking the OFT to flex their muscles and to act decisively in the best interests of the people, communities and businesses on the islands.

“We have recently seen the need for retailers to be free to shop amongst distributors. The reduction of 9p per litre recently at Gordon MacLennan’s Fuel Station in Back on the Isle of Lewis highlighted that all distributors should be on an even footing.

Tomorrow I will call on the OFT to end the practise which ties a retailer to one distributer for as long as 5 years. Allied to this, the practise of rebates to retailers from distributors seems to me to only muddy the waters and hook retailers further with distributors to the detriment of customers. These two practical steps the OFT could take to tackle what are the highest fuel prices anywhere in Europe which we have in our islands.

“Fuel is transported to our islands from the ConocoPhilips66 refinery at Immingham on the East Coast of England. Scottish Fuels then transport the fuel to Stornoway and Loch Carnan for storage. Retailers from all areas of the Hebrides typically buy their fuel from the same distributor, at the same price. The fuel still belongs to Philips66 until it is drawn out of tanks in Stornoway or Loch Carnan and sold to retailers.

“We need real competition and a level playing field between all distributors so that retailers can shop around to buy cheaper fuel and pass savings to customer. The OFT have a role to play here and I will ask them to intervene. No distributor has anything to fear from fairness.”