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Price of petrol could overtake diesel this week

Date: 04 September 2017   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The RAC is warning motorists that fuel prices could surge as a result of Storm Harvey hitting the US over the weekend.

According to the motoring organisation, petrol prices could jump by as much as 4p a litre in the coming days, taking the price of fuel above 121p a litre for the first time since December 2014.

The RAC said prices could rise as large refineries have been shut down following the storm on the Gulf Coast, driving up demand for imported petrol into the country.

On Thursday, petrol was priced at 117.29p a litre, while diesel was valued at 118.1p last week. The RAC added it is likely the price of petrol could move ahead of diesel, something that has not occurred since June 2016.

"One quarter of the refining capacity in the States remains offline, leaving a shortfall of over four million barrels a day, and crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is down 13.5%," said RAC spokesman, Pete Williams. "In response, oil traders are acting to redirect fuel to the US ahead of the busy Labour Day weekend surge in travel.

"The price of a barrel of crude oil has also increased to $52.79 dollars following the catastrophic floods in Houston. Americans are wedded to their petrol engines and while they have been endeavouring to become more self-sufficient through increased fracking they are now having to buy more unleaded from overseas, which is reducing the availability of unleaded for the rest of the world."

He added: "We have already seen the wholesale price of unleaded increase by 5p in just the last week and the ongoing crisis in the state of Texas could have a prolonged impact on demand and, in turn, the wholesale price - so we may see further price increases on UK forecourts."