Experts differ on fuel price surge

There are mixed views on fuel prices rising.

There are mixed views on fuel prices rising. - Credit: PA

A surge in the price of oil has scuppered hopes that petrol prices would stop increasing, according to figures.

As oil nears 50 US dollars a barrel the average price of petrol reached 109.2p per litre this week, the AA said. This is a 1.9p rise since April 16.

Compared to when petrol reached its low point in early March, the cost of filling a tank has gone up by more than £4.

Meanwhile pump prices for diesel have increased from 106.9p per litrs on April 16 to 109.1p.

AA president Edmund King said: 'Compared to this time last year, petrol is still 6.5p and diesel 11p a litre cheaper.

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'However, that's not the point. UK drivers do not like pump price shocks and a £4 to £5 surge in the cost of a tank of fuel is enough to disrupt family and business budgets.

'What has happened since March has re-energised fears of rocket and feather pump prices – something the UK motorist hoped had gone away for a long while.'

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Crude oil has risen by around five US dollars a barrel in the past 10 days.

But the RAC says fears of further rises should be tempered.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: 'The latest news is that US crude supplies have actually increased again, rather than shrunk, so there is now talk that the market has risen too far, too quickly.

'This could well help to take some of the heat out of the oil price and as a result we expect fuel prices to be kept in check for the UK's 30 million car drivers.

'It will be very interesting to see where both oil and pump prices finish at the end of May, especially if supply stability is restored.

'The other factor that should not be forgotten is that if oil were to stay around the 50-dollar mark for too long, the US will resume its oil production from fracking.

'OPEC [the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] does not want to see this happening so there is likely to be a renewed focus on increasing production to deflate the oil price.

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