Unleaded petrol tops 150p a litre amid surging oil prices as Russia invades Ukraine
Written by Gavin on 28th February 2022
The average price of a litre of petrol has topped 150p as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine adds to pressure on the global cost of oil.
The average price of unleaded petrol jumped to 151.25p – a new record – on Sunday, with diesel climbing to 154.72p, according to the RAC, the motoring organisation.
Its fuel spokesman, Simon Williams, said: “This makes a full tank of petrol for a 55-litre family car £83 and diesel £85. The average price of both fuels has shot up by more than 1.5p since Thursday.”
Oil prices soared above $100 a barrel as Russia launched its invasion last week and the announcement of tougher new sanctions kept up the squeeze on Monday.
The RAC has warned that it would inevitably feed through to the “grim milestone” of 150p for a litre of petrol.
Mr Williams said: “Prices at the pump will continue to go up as retailers buy in new stock at much higher prices.
“This will week will be an important one in terms of the oil price as it’s likely to reveal the speed of the inevitable upward trend or the extent of the volatility in the market.”
Prices vary across the country and some forecourts were already charging for fuel at above that average level before this weekend.
Higher forecourt prices have been among the factors behind Britain’s cost of living surge – helping push inflation to a three-decade high.
Brent crude surged above $105 last week – its highest level since September 2014 – before slipping back below $100 on Friday but soaring again to more than $105 in early trading on Monday on latest developments over Russia and Ukraine.
Worries about the capacity of oil producing countries to meet resurgent demand have also been behind the increase over recent months.
Demand for oil plunged during lockdowns, pushing the price below $20 a barrel in 2020 but it has since rallied sharply with the return of economic activity.
Although fuel prices are at a record high, it was more expensive to fill up in real terms when they previously peaked in April 2012.
The 142p cost of a litre of petrol at that time is equivalent to 178p at 2021 prices, according to the Bank of England’s inflation calculator.
Motoring groups have in recent months accused some retailers of taking a bigger profit cut than usual from fuel – suggesting that it was not only global oil prices driving up motorists’ costs.
Meanwhile, consumers are also being hit by sharp price rises across the board, most notably for household gas and electricity usage.
The tensions over Ukraine are adding to price pressures in that sector – with UK wholesale gas for next-day delivery climbing by as much as 31% on Monday to 275p per therm.