THE statewide petrol shortage has begun to bite locally with Shell Australia closing the Coles Express service station on Raglan Parade in west Warrnambool.
Shell Australia spokesman Paul Zennaro said it had shut the station because it was focusing on supplying the limited fuel available to priority sites.
The Shell Coles Express service station at 465-469 Raglan Parade east of the CBD was continuing to operate last night and doing busy trade.
Mr Zennaro said the company had shut a number of other service stations throughout the state as part of its strategy to focus deliveries to high priority service stations.
“There are specific sites that we are prioritising so each community has access to a Shell service station,” Mr Zennaro said.
He said the company expected the shortage to ease later this week as more fuel tankers returned to service.
The petrol shortage has arisen because Cootes Transport, which contracts to deliver fuel for most of the major petrol companies, withdrew a large number of fuel tankers from service for safety inspections following a fiery fatal tanker crash in Sydney last week.
A BP spokesman said it did not expect that its country service stations would be much affected by the shortage because most of the Cootes tankers it used supplied petrol stations in Melbourne.
A spokeswoman for Cootes Transport said it was working closely with VicRoads and the NSW Roads and Maritime Services as part of the fleet inspection program being undertaken in the two states.