The Russian military invasion of Ukraine has forced prices at the petrol pumps to reach record levels in the UK.
The immediate impact of the military action, combined with economic sanctions and fears over supplies, sent the price of a barrel of oil to $103 and then five days later to $113. This resulted in UK forecourts charging an average of 151.67p per litre of unleaded and 155.23p on diesel.
Last month it was reported that the average price of petrol had broken the previous UK record and topped 148p per litre for the first time. That was before tensions between Russia and Ukraine started to have a significant impact on oil prices. As the conflict deepens there seems no sign that prices will go anywhere else but up further still.
The UK gets only 6% of its crude oil and 5% of its gas from Russia, but the effect of sanctions and the response of Russia could spell unprecedented instability in the oil market.
Pump prices are expected to rise higher, according to RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.
“The sudden $10 jump in the oil price to $113 a barrel is likely to take the average price of petrol towards 155p a litre and diesel to 160p, particularly as it’s looking like this price isn’t just a market blip caused by the US and allies deciding to dip into the strategic oil reserve," Williams said.
“If oil does stay at this level, the journey to an average unleaded price of 155p may be far too quick.”
Compared to what the Ukrainian people are experiencing, paying more for petrol here seems an insignificant issue. But having to pay £85 to fill up the tank of an average sized family car will be concerning to fleet operators and millions of households in the UK, already struggling to cope with the increases in the cost of living.