Proposals aimed at resolving the fuel tanker drivers dispute were drawn up tonight, raising hopes that strikes can be averted.
Leaders Unite held talks all week with officials from six distribution companies under the chairmanship of the conciliation service Acas.
Peter Harwood, Acas chief conciliator, said:
Unite had earlier been given an extension to a deadline for declaring strikes in the fuel tanker drivers dispute so that peace talks could continue.
Under employment law, the union should have made a decision by late afternoon on whether to call its 2,000 members in the industry out on strike after they voted last month for industrial action.
Mr Harwood added:
The dispute has been brewing for more than a year but flared up last month when Unite announced that workers in five firms had voted to strike.
There was a spate of panic-buying of fuel by motorists last month after the Government advised them to top up their tanks because of the threat of a strike.
Chaotic scenes and long queues were seen at garages across the country following the Government's advice, which was heavily criticised.
Labour led calls for the resignation of Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude for advising motorists to store jerry cans of fuel in their garages.