The Petrol Retailers Associaition (PRA) has said that fuel supplies on Scottish forecourts remain unaffected at present, despite the temporary shut down of Grangemouth oil refinery due to an unresolved clash between its operator, Ineos, and the Unite union.

Brian Madderson, chairman of the PRA, which represents independent fuel retailers across the UK, said: “The PRA issued early advice to forecourts suggesting they gradually increase holding stock levels and we believe that this has been heeded in most areas.

“It is also clear that motorists have maintained their usual buying patterns as there have been no signs of the “panic buying” which caused so much distress to consumers and businesses in March 2012,” he added.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for DHL, which handles fuel distribution work out of Grangemouth refinery, told MT that it is “working closely with our customers to ensure supply of fuel to forecourts is not disrupted”.

The Grangemouth plant has been shut down for a week following a row over the treatment of a Unite union member employed at the site, with operator Ineos today revealing it plans to place the petrochemicals division into liquidation.

Ineos said it will re-open the refinery if Unite promises to halt any further industrial action threats at the site.

Responding to the announcement, energy secretary Ed Davies said: “Ineos have informed us that the refinery will stay open and the management wish to restart full operations as soon as possible.

“Fuel supplies continue to be delivered as usual and there is no current risk of disruption to supplies.”

The Scottish Government said it has been working to find a buyer for loss-making Grangemouth, which Inneos revealed had been losing £10m per month..