Britain has today followed the US and banned Russian oil imports as drivers started queuing for fuel after being hit by the steepest weekly hike in fuel prices in more than 18 years due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – with prices expected to keep rising.
Oil prices are rising at an alarming rate sparking warnings that petrol could soon hit £2 a litre – taking the cost of an average tank to more than £100 – an increase of around £17.
Unleaded hit an average record of £1.55 a litre yesterday, with industry sources saying it was likely to rise to £1.75 by next week as 5p is being added to the price every 24 hours in some areas. But prices at some forecourts are already pushing £1.80.
Motorists queued outside a Sainsbury’s petrol station in Cambridge today as they rushed to fill up cars and jerry cans before petrol prices increase even further. There were also long lines at the pumps at a Tesco in neighbouring Suffolk. On social media there were also reports of queues at supermarket pumps in Lancashire.
US President Joe Biden has decided to ban Russian oil imports, toughening the toll on Russia’s economy in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine, according to a person familiar with the matter, and the European Union this week will commit to phasing out its reliance on Russia for energy needs as soon as possible.
Filling the void without crippling EU economies will likely take some time – natural gas from Russia accounts for one-third of Europe’s consumption of the fossil fuel.