Petrol prices could hit £2 a litre warns minister
Petrol prices could shoot up to more than £2 a litre if the crises in Libya and other oil-producing nations escalates, according to a Government minister.
Overseas Development minister, Allan Duncan, is worried that the 2008 record price of $147 dollars per barrel could be obliterated if the problems in north Africa and the Middle East aren't eased.
Speaking in a newspaper interview, the former oil trader said that in a worst-case scenario where terrorists take advantage of the crises by attacking tankers and reserves, then prices could even move towards $250 a barrel. This would leave UK motorists facing prices at the pumps of around £2.03.
"I've been saying in government for two months that if this does go wrong, £1.30 at the pumps could look like a luxury," Mr Duncan told The Times. "$200 is on the cards...if anyone is reckless and foments trouble.
"It could be very serious. If crude oil doubles, you're going to have a serious spike [in petrol prices]. Try living without it for a week."
The minister's warnings come as the situation in Libya looks to be deteriorating with forces allied to Colonel Gaddafi battling with rebels near an oil terminal and in a town near the capital, Tripoli.
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that British forces are on standby for deployment to Libya but they are preparing for humanitarian rather than combat duties.