Driving home for Christmas is going to be a little more expensive for motorists this year, reports RAC Fuel Watch. The emergency closure of the main North Sea oil and gas pipeline risks adding as much as 3p a litre to the price of diesel and petrol.
40 percent of North Sea oil and gas flows through the Forties pipeline, and RAC Fuel Watch says the effect on the price of Brent crude has been immediate: the price is now the highest since May 2015.
Added on top of pump prices that are already the highest in three years, and it’s bad news for motorists, said RAC spokesman Simon Williams.
“This really isn’t what drivers need at Christmas when many are travelling longer distances to spend time with family and friends. This will only serve to make the most expensive time of year even more costly.”
He contrasted the situation this year with just two years ago: back then, a collapse in the oil price saw some retailers offering both petrol and diesel for as little as 99p a litre.
Now, the average price of unleaded is almost 121p a litre, and diesel is averaging 123p a litre – meaning petrol is 6p a litre and diesel is 8p pricier than 2017’s cheapest fuel prices, recorded back in July.
The effect these fuel prices rises have on the cost of a tankful are stark, added the RAC. In February 2016, both fuels averaged 102p a litre. Such low prices meant filling a 55-litre tank of unleaded was £12 cheaper back then, and a tankful of diesel was £13 less.
And how many stocking-fillers could you get for that?
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