Gasoline and diesel prices hit a new high on Wednesday as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused a major oil supply disruption.
Figures from data firm Experian Catalist show the average cost of a liter of petrol on UK forecourts was 159.6p, down from 158.2p on Tuesday.
The average cost of a liter of diesel hit a new high of 167.4p on Wednesday, down from 165.2p on Tuesday.
Petrol prices soared to over £2 a liter in some London forecourts as retailers passed on the rising cost of crude to their customers.
There are signs that the pressure on motorists may soon start to ease, with the United Arab Emirates saying it backs increased production.
The UAE is an influential member of OPEC, the cartel of major oil-producing nations. OPEC has some ability to increase oil production, but has so far delayed the process, only agreeing to pursue a projected production schedule agreed upon before Vladimir Putin sent Russian troops to Ukraine.
“We support production increases and will encourage OPEC to consider higher production levels,” Ambassador Yousuf Al Otaiba said in a statement tweeted by the UAE Embassy in Washington.
The announcement sent crude prices plummeting, with Brent crude – a key international benchmark – dropping as much as 17% before settling at around $116 on Thursday morning.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) also said on Wednesday it could release more global strategic oil reserves after recently agreeing to add an additional 60 million barrels to global supplies.
“If there is a need, if our governments so decide, we can bring more oil to the markets, as part of the response,” said IEA chief Faith Birol.
The United States and the United Kingdom have decided to phase out imports of Russian oil this week as part of measures to put additional pressure on Mr Putin.
Western leaders have admitted that weaning their economies off Russian oil and gas would mean economic pain for their own citizens, as well as those in Russia.
This leaves a difficult balancing act for European governments, particularly because the continent is so dependent on Russian energy imports and also faces pressure on the cost of living.
In the UK, inflation is now expected to reach 8% this year, with a peak of up to 10% according to the latest KPMG forecast. This would almost certainly mean a sharp drop in living standards for millions of people whose wages will fail to keep up with rising prices.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-10 10:52:16