Oil price surge: Grief for motorists as previous record high for petrol surpassed

Ukraine ambassador calls on EU states to ‘make sacrifices’

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Despite briefly dropping down, petrol prices have once again begun to soar with no signs of slowing down.

The previous record was set just a couple of months ago on March 11, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA), as the price of oil rose to hit $100 (£81.13) per barrel on Tuesday.

AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said: “With the cost of oil accounting for more than half of the pump price, more expensive oil means more expensive gasoline.

“These prices are creeping closer to those record high levels of early March.”

These price spikes are being driven by the ongoing war in Ukraine and Western sanctions against Russia, with fears that the price of fuel could rise even further over the summer.

Head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy Patrick De Haan added: “Russia’s oil increasingly remains out of the market, crimping supply while demand rebounds ahead of the summer driving season.

“There’s little, if any, good news about fuel prices heading into summer and the problem could become worse should we see an above average hurricane season, which could knock out refinery capacity at a time we badly need it as refined product inventories continue to plummet.”

In the US, domestic production of oil has been badly hit as companies attempt to return money to investors after taking on significant losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Chevron CEO Michael Wirth has hit back at Joe Biden’s government accusing oil companies of “sitting on their hands”, according to NBC.

Mr Wirth said: “We do not control the market price of crude oil or natural gas, nor of refined products like gasoline and diesel fuel, and we have no tolerance for price gouging.”

Many European countries, including the UK and the EU bloc, have agreed to phase out Russian oil imports in a bid to fight back against Vladimir Putin.

This has been a difficult move for many countries that are heavily reliant on Russian oil and gas, such as Hungary who have said it will take five years for the phase-out to be complete.

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Given that the EU needs all 27 countries to agree on such a decision, this move has held up the imposing of these new sanctions.

Both Slovakia and the Czech Republic have also won concessions from the European Commission for more time to wean themselves off Russian imports.

The European Commission originally proposed six months for phasing out Russian crude oil, with refined oil imports being stopped by the end of 2022.

Under current plans it is believed that Hungary and Slovakia should have until the end of 2024 and the Czech Republic until June 2024 to do the same.

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