Will UK petrol prices rise because of the oil attack in Saudi Arabia?

The 20 per cent surge in the oil price is the biggest intraday move since the Brent crude contract was created in the 1980s
The 20 per cent surge in the oil price is the biggest intraday move since the Brent crude contract was created in the 1980s
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Oil prices have jumped by 20 per cent after two attacks on facilities in Saudi Arabia over the weekend knocked out more than five per cent of the world’s supply.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab described the attacks as “despicable” on Monday but added it was “not entirely clear who is responsible”.

The 20 per cent surge in the oil price this morning is the biggest intraday move since the Brent crude contract was created in the 1980s, according to financial analysts Bloomberg.

But the question many Scots will be asking is: will this lead to rising petrol prices as a result?

Aneeka Gupta, commodities strategist at the fund manager Wisdom Tree, told the BBC that higher oil prices would not have an immediate impact on consumers as they “could take a bit of time of feed through”.

Bob McNally, a former energy adviser in George W. Bush’s administration, told the broadcaster: “I think it’s going to last. As long as the United States and Saudi Arabia on one hand and Iran on the other remain in this escalatory conflict then we’re going to build in a risk premium because it’s getting very serious.”

But Amrita Sen, analyst at Energy Aspects, told Sky News that consumers will see the impact of today’s oil price spike in a few weeks time.

He also predicted that the International Energy Agency could organise a “co-ordinated release of oil” if Saudi production remains disrupted for weeks, to protect consumers from a price spike.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs has predicted that oil could hit $75 per barrel - 25 per cent higher than last Friday - if Saudi oil supplies are disrupted for six weeks or more.

Around half of Saudi Arabia’s 9.6million barrels per day have been knocked offline by Saturday’s attack. The key question is how quickly they return.

Goldman told clients that the longer the delay, the higher prices will go - even if America unlocks its strategic oil reserves to cope, as Donald Trump has pledged.