(Reuters) - Fuel is being diverted from large firms in the UK to pumping stations, a move that could eventually disrupt online deliveries, The Telegraph reported on Wednesday.
UK government officials have instructed executives running Britain's network of fuel terminals to send tankers heading for large companies to garages and service stations instead, the newspaper said, citing industry sources. The newspaper also reported that the government said it did not order any fuel deliveries to be diverted.
Britain has been gripped by a rush of panic buying that has left petrol stations dry across major cities. Oil companies have warned that they do not have enough tanker drivers to move petrol and diesel from refineries to filling stations.
The government ordered soldiers to start driving fuel tankers to replenish empty pumps, as motorists remained stuck in queues after nearly a week of shortages.
The UK government did not respond to Reuters' request for comment, but a spokesman told the newspaper it was "simply untrue" to suggest that officials had ordered fuel companies to divert their deliveries.
"There has always been and continues to be plenty of fuel at refineries and terminals and we are now seeing signs that the situation at the pumps has begun to improve with more stations getting more fuel," the spokesman was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio)