UK petrol prices are spiking this Christmas to a four-year high mainly because of disruption in the North Sea supply of oil. A crack in the “Forties” pipeline was discovered earlier this month during a routine inspection. The pipeline, which supplies half a million barrels a day to the UK market, or around 40 per cent of the total, has been shut down for repair. A fire at a major European gas supply hub in Austria has also increased pressure on continental energy supplies and therefore boosted fuel prices. The Forties repairs are expected to be completed early in 2018, which should help ease the upward price pressure. Yet oil prices have actually been rising since June, when a barrel of oil cost $45. Today the price of a barrel of Brent crude is $65. Could that underlying rising trend continue, dragging up pump prices in their wake into 2018?
Independent 23rd Dec 2017 read more »