A petrol station worker has called the race for fuel “unprecedented” as he blamed panic buyers for running forecourts dry.

Yasser Ahmed, 37, said he has been working “nonstop” and “not had time to breathe” at his petrol station in West Drayton, near Heathrow Airport, which he runs with his father.

Highlighting the excessive sales, he said he sold a week's worth of fuel in just two days at his family business.

But shop sales have “tanked” as people aren’t buying anything inside his petrol station convenience store.

Panicked drivers have been seen queueing outside petrol stations up and down the country to try and fill up.

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Drivers have been seen queuing up and down the country for petrol (

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PA)

The fuel crisis has led to some forecourts imposing £30-per-car limits, with more than half of petrol stations thought to have run out of petrol completely.

It comes as UK fuel prices have reached their highest level in eight years, with a further jump expected as wholesale energy costs continue to surge.

Mr Ahmed said: "We had a delivery Friday morning. Driving in, that's when it started hitting me, there was a lot of talk on the radio (about) panic buying.

"When I got into work it was considerably busy but not too bad. By the afternoon, when my dad left, I was nonstop. I didn't have time to breathe.

"If there was a spillage outside, it's a single man operation, I was having to hold everyone, clear the spillage then rush back in. I couldn't even sit down."

Panic buying has led to petrol stations being run dry (

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James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS)

But he added: "Everyone is just panic buying through fear that (fuel) is going to run out and, because of that, it actually has run out.”

Mr Ahmed said his four-pump station had gone through 30,000 litres of fuel - the amount it would usually sell in a whole week - in just two days.

He had not yet received confirmation of his next delivery on Wednesday.

But despite the frantic fuel buying, Mr Ahmed said the station was taking a financial loss as drivers aren’t visiting the shop if they can’t get fuel.

He said: "Yesterday we didn't open up, we lost a whole day yesterday.

“Today dad is in only because we have a lot of regular customers from the local community who are going to work and want to grab their coffee first in the morning.

"We're not selling anything inside, our shop sales have tanked."

He continued: "People are saying on social media that petrol station owners are doing really well and making a lot of money - we're not.

"Whatever we've sold, we're only making about five pence per litre - it's not enough. We make our money from shop sales, and they're gone.

"We're a family-run business, just myself and my dad, so we're going to have to work however we can. It's like in the pandemic, we just did what we needed to do to get by."

Drivers are being urged not to panic buy by petrol groups, who say there is enough fuel to go around.

In a joint statement from companies including Shell, ExxonMobil and Greenergy, the industry said supply issues were being caused by "temporary spikes in customer demand - not a national shortage of fuel".

The Government has also pleaded for drivers to stop filling their cars "when they don't need it".

The average price of a litre of petrol rose from 135.9p on Friday to 136.6p on Sunday, the highest level since September 2013.

Oil prices also rose for the fifth straight day on Monday, with the price of Brent crude hitting almost £58 a barrel, the highest since October 2018.

Motoring group the AA warned that prices could rise further this autumn as the global oil price surges with increased demand.

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