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UK Drivers May Face 'Unbelievably High Prices on Forecourts'

© AFP 2023 / ANTHONY DEVLINA man refuels a car with petrol at a petrol station in Manchester, north-west England. File photo
A man refuels a car with petrol at a petrol station in Manchester, north-west England. File photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.03.2022
Last Sunday, oil prices jumped to $130 a barrel, reaching their highest level in 14 years, amid reports of the US planning a ban on energy imports from Russia. Shortly thereafter, the ban was announced by President Joe Biden, as part of America's new "severe" anti-Russian sanctions over Moscow's ongoing special military operation in Ukraine.
The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) – a British automotive services organisation - has warned that drivers will be seeing "unbelievably high prices on forecourts" as average costs of petrol and diesel in the country hit an all-time high for the ninth consecutive day.
RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said that diesel is "on a clear path to £1.70 ($2.22) a litre", with petrol prices hitting more than £2 ($2.61) a litre at some London filling stations.
At the same time, the company referred to a "hint of better news" after crude oil prices stabilised below $120 a barrel, following the UAE's pledge to push other oil exporting nations to boost production in a bid to fill some of the gaps caused by the US imposing sanctions on imports of oil products from Russia.

According to the organisation, this "could lead, in a week or so, to a slight slowing in the daily pump price increases, and records being broken less frequently".

UAE 'Will Be Encouraging' OPEC to Consider Increasing Oil Production

The forecasts came after UAE Ambassador to Washington Yousef Al Otaiba signalled Abu Dhabi's readiness to pump more oil into the market and encourage the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to ramp up supplies.

In separate interviews with the Financial Times and CNN, Al Otaiba stressed that his country "favours production increases and will be encouraging OPEC to consider higher production levels".

The remarks followed OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo warning earlier this week that there was "no capacity in the world at the moment that can replace 7 million barrels [a day] of exports" from Russia, one of the world's top producers of crude oil.
In a separate development this week, US President Joe Biden announced a total ban on Russian energy imports, including oil and gas, over Moscow's ongoing special military operation in Ukraine to demilitarise and de-Nazify the country.
"[…] The United States is targeting the main artery of Russia's economy. […] That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at US ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin's war machine", POTUS argued in a televised address.
The Biden administration has repeatedly pressed international oil producers to boost their output in order to help lower oil prices, which skyrocketed to $130 a barrel, the highest level in 14 years, late last week amid reports that the US wants to ban Russian energy imports. The OPEC+ alliance, which includes Russia, however, declined to go beyond a plan agreed upon in 2021 to increase production each month by 400,000 barrels a day.
As for the UK, Office for National Statistics data revealed that the country imported £4 billion ($5.2 billion) worth of Russian oil in 2021.
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