UK petrol prices to rise after Trump ditches Iran nuclear deal

RAC says the weak pound and Opec curbs on oil production will also contribute to increase

British motorists have been warned they will pay more than 2p extra a litre when filling up their vehicles over the next fortnight, owing to Donald Trump ditching the Iran nuclear deal.

The price of oil has already climbed from about $75 (£54) to $77 a barrel since the US said it would impose sanctions on Iran, which are expected to hit Iranian oil exports.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark, are on track for the biggest weekly rise in a month. The price briefly hit $78 on Thursday, the highest since November 2014.

The RAC said drivers would be hit by a “toxic combination” of oil prices being driven up by geopolitical instability, a weak pound and Opec curbing production.

The motoring group said the increases could take the price of petrol to 126.5p a litre within the next fortnight, a level last seen in October 2014.

Oil price graph

“Sadly, the days of petrol and diesel for under a pound a litre in early 2016 are fast becoming a distant memory,” said the RAC’s Simon Williams.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, has said it will work to address any gap in output left by Iran, which produces about 4% of worldwide oil supplies.

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Khalid al-Falih, the Saudi energy minister, tweeted that the Kingdom would “work closely with major Opec, non-Opec producers and with key consumers to mitigate the effects of any supply shortages”.

An increase in Saudi exports does not fit with Riyadh’s strategy of curbing production to increase oil prices and support the planned $2tn flotation of its national oil company, experts have said.

The oil analysts PetroMatrix said: “We need therefore to work on the basis that the Saudi oil policy has been forced to change and that the Opec-Russia supply restriction agreement is seeing its last days.”

Opec and Russia are scheduled to meet on 22 June to discuss whether to extend curbs on production.


Adam Vaughan

The GuardianTramp

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