Shelling out for higher profits

OIL giant Shell has today announced record profits while motorists in Ipswich face an uphill battle with varying petrol prices.A Shell service station on the A14, Orwell Bridge, is charging an extra 3.

OIL giant Shell has today announced record profits while motorists in Ipswich face an uphill battle with varying petrol prices.

A Shell service station on the A14, Orwell Bridge, is charging an extra 3.1 pence per litre for unleaded petrol than a garage less than a mile away on Bourne Bridge.

At the garage in Wherstead Road, motorists have to pay 102.9p for unleaded and 107.9p for Diesel, whereas the station on the A14 was charging 106 pence per litre for unleaded petrol and 110p for Diesel.

This revelation comes on the same day that Shell announced record profits of £13.9bn.


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Tim Wray, general manager of Deben Transport, based in Felixstowe, said: “A few places have always varied in prices. People are trapped when they are on the trunk roads. There are some petrol stations that charge a lot more near the port in Felixstowe than those further away.

“It has always been the case because then they have a captive audience. They take advantage of this.”

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News of the firm's 2007 profits prompted a call from unions for a windfall tax on oil companies.

Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of the union, Unite, said: “Shell shareholders are doing very nicely whilst the rest of us, the stakeholders, are paying the price and struggling.”

Mr Woodley said the £50bn added to oil industry profits in the last three years was “frankly obscene”.

He added: “This government took the brave step of putting a windfall tax on the greedy privatised utilities to fund the New Deal. With pensions injustices still to be addressed, fortune should favour the brave again and the greedy oil companies should be asked to contribute for the common good.”

A Shell spokeswoman said: “Although we operate a national fuel pricing strategy, we recognise that each service station operates within its own competitive environment, so each service station is looked at individually regarding fuel pricing.

“UK pump prices are the result of a combination of many factors, among which are: (1) the crude price, (2) the international market price for refined products, which may or may not mirror movements in crude prices, (3) exchange rate movements, and (4) the extremely competitive nature of the UK market.

“Despite higher oil prices, on average 67 per cent of the pump price of petrol and diesel in the UK was made up by excise and VAT.”

Are the oil companies ripping us off? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Shell Whitehouse, Norwich Road - unleaded 101.9 diesel 106.9

Shell Ranelagh, London Road - unleaded 101.9 diesel 106.9

Shell Heath, Woodbridge Road East - unleaded 103.9 diesel 108.9

Shell Bourne Bridge, Wherstead Road - unleaded 102.9 diesel 107.9

Shell Orwell, A14 at Orwell Bridge - unleaded 105.9 diesel 109.9

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