Britain is facing an oil pinch after workers walked off a Scottish oil refinery today over pension issues, the AP reports. The 48-hour BP strike will halt 700,000 barrels of UK oil a day, nearly one-third of its North Sea supply. But 10 Downing St. is urging drivers not to hoard gas. "There is plenty of petrol and diesel in Scotland to meet demand during this time," one official said.
The government fears a replay of the angry gas station lineups that raged 8 years ago when truckers blocked off refineries. To avoid pump panic, Edinburgh gas stations are capping purchases at $40, and Scotland is importing 72,000 tons of fuel from Europe. But a liter has spiked 27 cents in some regions and stations are already running dry.