A Midland oil depot is set to be targeted this week in a planned strike by 500 oil tanker drivers.
Bosses with the Unite union say the strike will hit Kingsbury oil depot in Warwickshire in four days of action starting on Friday morning.
They stressed no blockades were planned.
Members employed by two Shell sub-contractors are due to walk out from 6am until 6am the following Tuesday in a dispute over pay.
The national action could hit up to one in 10 filling stations nationally, but the government has urged motorists not to panic buy petrol.
Unite could not provide exact information about the numbers striking in the Midlands, but added it would make more details available today .
Warwickshire police yesterday said the situation would be assessed and contingency plans put in place.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s spokesman said: “We believe this strike is unnecessary and we want to ensure nothing was done that inconvenienced the public. But the most responsible thing the public can do is buy as normal.”
Talks are being held at a secret location today chaired by conciliation service Acas to break the deadlock.
Bernie Holloway, spokesman for Hoyer, one of the transport companies involved in the dispute, said it was “disappointing” Unite rejected an improved pay offer of 6.8 per cent last week.
“We believe this was a very good offer that would take the average drivers’ pay up to £39,000,” he said.
But Unite has called for Shell to stop “sitting on its hands”, and get involved. Unite assistant general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Only Shell sets the terms of this contract and only it can solve this dispute. This is one of the most profitable companies on earth and it needs to provide the financial flexibility to avert this dispute.
“It is no use Shell bosses, who have enjoyed 15 per cent-plus pay increases in the last year, sitting on their hands. They have 72 hours to start focusing on avoiding the disruption this will cause to the public, who are mindful of the staggering profits Shell makes.
“Shell tanker drivers are earning exactly the same today as 15 years ago while working for a company that makes £1.3 billion every month, profits our members’ hard work helps deliver. So Unite is saying to Shell bosses, stop hiding behind your sub-contractor and help us sort a solution.”
Kingsbury oil terminal – near Tamworth – was hit by blockades in 2000 as striking drivers prevented tankers leaving the site. More than 100 police officers were sent to the plant after the Prime Minister issued emergency powers to end the protest.