A LONG-running investigation into the fuel market in the Western Isles has ended in a deal being thrashed out.

The Competition and Markets Authority, formerly the Office of Fair Trading, decided earlier this year to continue its inquiry into contracts between the parent of oil company Scottish Fuels and island filling stations.

But the watchdog has now accepted binding commitments from Certas Energy UK Limited and DCC plc which aim to improve competition in the supply of petrol and diesel to filling stations in the Western Isles.

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The commitments bring an end to contracts which provided for many filling stations on the islands to buy fuels exclusively from Certas for five years. Filling stations will now have greater flexibility to choose whether or not they purchase fuels from Certas, and the terms of those arrangements.