Early in 2010 someone suggested we should boycott petrol stations with a regular ‘not buying petrol’ day as a way of forcing suppliers to reduce the prices. More recently there’s been hints of a campaign to boycott the two largest suppliers i.e. Esso and BP and buy from someone else but this is naive at best.

In the first instance, oil companies do not drill for petrol they drill for oil, bit of a give-away in the name! Petrol is what’s left after all the good bits have been drawn off and oil goes into the manufacture of far more than petrol. For example, Ammonia, Anaesthetics, Antihistamines, Artificial limbs, Artificial Turf, Antiseptics, Aspirin, Auto Parts and Awnings are all made from oil! All of these products have higher profit margins than petrol which is only profitable when sold in high volume.

Secondly, there are literally hundreds of refineries throughout the world most of which people have probably never heard of i.e. Silver Eagle Refining Inc., Wyoming. They’re one of the top 140 in the US, wonder where their petrol goes? Most of the BP stations are not actually owned by BP but are small businesses in their own right. BP petrol has a few additives that make it the brand BP but these are often not put in until the last moment so that the ‘raw’ petrol could be sold to someone else such as Asda or Texaco. Yes, oil companies buy from each other! Outlets such as Asda, Sainsbury and Tesco might buy petrol from several suppliers so you’ll never know whose petrol they are selling today.

If you stop buying BP petrol they’ll simply sell it to someone else and you’ll get it at Asda or one of thousands of other outlets.

The ONLY way you can lower the cost of petrol is reduce the amount used. Lowering the demand will push the price down.