Y2k fuels petrol rush

Petrol companies have made contingency plans in preparation for a rush on supplies in the lead-up to Y2K.

Executive director of the Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP) Jim Starkey said suppliers have anticipated the possibility of an increase in demand for fuel as consumers become "edgy" over Y2K problems.

"All suppliers have contingency plans in place to supply additional product to petrol stations if necessary," Starkey said.

He said oil companies had gone through a process of establishing their own Y2K readiness programs, and as a result, the AIP was comfortable with the industry's preparations.

In conjunction with state emergency services groups, the AIP has also set up contingency plans to provide essential emergency services with fuel in the case of a major disruption to supplies such as a power failure.

"We don't think there will be any problem, but we've anticipated any that may arise," Starkey said.

The US Department of Energy has estimated that an extra 7.5 million barrels of oil will be purchased in the lead up to the new year in the US.

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