Petrol set to dip below £1 per litre but not everyone is celebrating
Forecourt prices for unleaded petrol could soon fall below £1 per litre, as the price of crude oil continues to plummet.
The cost of a barrel of oil has already dropped to less than $44 (£29) this year from a high of $107 (£69) last June. Industry analysts are now predicting could soon be trading at just $20 (£13) a barrel, which would represent its lowest price in 13 years.
Motoring groups have predicted huge potential savings for consumers should the price of crude remain so low. RAC spokesman Simon Peevers told The Mirror: "If the price of oil came down to $20 a barrel we would see a significant drop at the pumps. "We will see it below £1 a litre. It has already come down below £1 once, so it is a real possibility."
However, while car owners and most industries will be breathing a slight sigh of relief at the prospect of lower fuel bills, the news could prove detrimental to the North Sea oil industry, which is already in turmoil, having shed some 65,000 jobs since the start of 2014.
The slump has resulted in criticism of the SNP Government, which is being accused of failing to act. Scottish Labour public services spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: "We need the full resources of the Scottish Government directed towards this jobs crisis, no matter how embarrassing it might be for them politically."
With Scotland the biggest oil producer in the EU, the downturn in North Sea oil has been felt in the country's wider economy. However, the Scottish Government has defended its performance in the sector. The Mirror reports the SNP as saying: "Recent provisional figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change suggest that May saw the most oil and gas produced in the North Sea since March 2012.
"If this trend is sustained, production could increase this year for the first time in 15 years. "But it is vital that the UK Government makes good on its commitment to introduce further measures to support exploration and allow newly discovered fields to come on-stream.
"We are doing all we can to support oil industry workers and their families."
How has the fall in fuel prices affected you? Have your say in the comments section below.
Author: Daljinder Nagra