Petrol prices to rise as Iran and US 'war' sends oil surging

PETROL prices at the pump are set to climb further after crude oil prices topped $70 (£53.24) a barrel early yesterday.

Brent crude – the international benchmark for oil – was up 2.1 per cent in early European trading amid growing tensions between Iran and the US.

According to the AA, a $2 change in the price of oil tends to produce a 1p-a-litre change at the pump.

Luke Bosdet, the fuel price spokesman at the motoring organisation, said: “Drivers in the UK need to brace themselves for a rise in the price of road fuel at the start of the new year.”

The price of unleaded petrol could soon hit 130p-a-litre, Bosdet predicts – meaning it would be around a fiver a tank more expensive than this time last year.

He added: “With many families looking to pay off Christmas credit card bills, this could make the finances of some more precarious.”

Prices at forecourt vary wildly. Find out how to find the best deals here.

The price of crude has been driven up by fears that supplies from the Middle East could be disrupted.

Brent has climbed more than 5 per cent since US air strikes killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq last Friday.

The US state department warned on Sunday that there was an increased risk of attacks on oil facilities and other targets in Saudi Arabia, amid widespread expectations Iran would retaliate for the killing of Soleimani.

The oil price and wholesale prices had already risen as commodity market players speculated on the impact of better trade relations between the US and China.

This had added 2p a litre to the cost of petrol and diesel heading to the pumps, resulting in the UK’s average price of petrol jumping from 125.43p a litre before Christmas to 126.68p after the New Year.

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