PETROL companies have urged motorists not to panic-buy fuel because of a threat to supplies from a shortage of tankers.
APCO Warrnambool station manager Shirlene Ball said yesterday she expected the station would soon run out of LPG because of the tanker shortage.
A Shell Australia spokesman Paul Zennaro said the company was asking motorists to exercise restraint with their fuel purchases until the situation eased.
A BP Australia spokesman could not say if its fuel supplies would be disrupted but said any impact would most likely be felt in the Melbourne metropolitan area.
The threat arose after Cootes Transport, which contracts to deliver fuel for most of the major petrol companies, withdrew a large number of its fuel tankers from service for safety inspections following a fiery fatal crash in Sydney last week.
A spokeswoman for Cootes Transport said yesterday the vehicles would return to service once any issues identified were addressed.
The Shell Australia spokesman said the company was working closely with Cootes Transport and its other fuel transport providers to minimise the impact on its customers. “Shell expects fuel deliveries to improve progressively over the course of the week as Cootes Transport trucks are returned to service following inspections,” he said.
The BP Australia spokesman said it mainly contracted Cootes to supply BP service stations in the Melbourne metropolitan area so any effect on its supply would focus on Melbourne.
“Rural areas will not be that much impacted,” he said.
“We cannot say there will not be any disruption in the metropolitan area. The situation is fluid and we will be keeping an eye on it going forward,” the spokesman said.