What a Week for Oil Prices…

This week has been a real roller coaster for the oil market.

Oil began the week at $115 per barrel for brent crude, spurred on by the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This was compounded further by the United States and its allies banning all Russian oil imports as punishment for Moscow’s invasion of the Ukraine. In addition, the market reacted to the threat of Moscow cutting off Europe’s gas supply and oil reached highs of $139 per barrel, the highest since 2008. By midweek, the upward pressure on fuel eased in a volatile trading session, where brent crude fell by 1.2%.

The head of the International Energy Agency described the decision last week to release 60 million barrels of oil reserves, compensating for any supply disruption, as an ‘initial’ response and said more could be released in the future if needed. Pressure from the public on the news further subsisted and the UAE announced it would also increase its output by 400,000 barrels per day.

In terms of UK fuel prices, we are likely to see another week of double-digit increases, with the retail forecourt cost for diesel heading towards £1.80 per litre and, in some areas of the UK, now more than £2.00 per litre.

As you would expect, the outlook for oil prices remains, in the medium term, high against the backdrop of increased Russian aggression against the Ukraine and the West’s ongoing political and economic support of the Ukraine.
If you are a fuel card user with a fixed weekly rate, it would be prudent to top up your fleet before the end of the week as the new, currently rising, prices will come into effect on a Monday.

If you are using fuel cards that use pump price rates, it’s best to shop around fuel stations and check the available rates. There are many tools online with which may be useful, including PetrolPrices to view nearby rates or our own Garage Locator to see the stations in your area. With some selective shopping and considered fuel card use, you may be able to save your fleet some money in a fraught market.


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