Experts warn diesel sales may be restricted from NEXT MONTH

Could diesel now be rationed? Experts warn fuel sales may be restricted from as early as NEXT MONTH amid fears of fuel shortage as UK phases out imports of Russian oil due to Ukraine war

  • Fears have grown that diesel could be rationed in the UK due to war in Ukraine
  • While Britain sources most of its petrol, a sixth of diesel is imported from Russia 
  • Finding an alternative source depends upon negotiations with the Middle East
  • MPs have warned an economic shock worse than the 1973 oil crisis is looming 

Fears have grown that diesel could soon be rationed in Britain as world leaders scramble for solutions to reduce their countries’ energy dependency on Russia.

Although the UK largely sources its own petrol, half of the country’s diesel is imported. Of these these imports, a third comes from Russia.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to gradually remove imports of Russian oil by the end of this year, but finding alternate sources depends on agreements with the Middle East, The Sunday Times reports.

A display sign showing unleaded petrol prices at 178.0 per litre and diesel prices at 199.9 per litre at a service station in Long Stratton, Norfolk, on Thursday

There is speculation the Prime Minister could travel to Saudi Arabia in the coming days for a meeting with Mohammed bin Salman, in order t help keep oil prices down.

Some analysts have concluded there is a real risk diesel may have to be rationed, with 12 million diesel cars on the road although sales are on the decline.     

A spokesman from the Energy Aspects consultancy said: ‘Risks of energy rationing and ultimately a recession are growing by the day – something most policymakers seem to be ignoring or not grasping right now.

‘If Russian oil is not integrated back into the market within the next few weeks, we are at a real risk of having to ration crude and products by the summer.’

Fuel prices are at an all time high due to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Western sanctions could push prices up further with drivers have been told to prepare themselves

By Friday, its assessment had become even more urgent, with the warning diesel rationing could begin as soon as April.

It is understood these shortages would cause an even bigger impact that those of September last year, when petrol stations ran dry as the government claimed the problem was down to panic buying.  

The UK receives just 4 per cent of its gas from Russia, making its dependency less than vulnerable other European nations – where as a whole, 40 per cent of gas comes from Russia. 

To counter this, President Biden has even proposed sending heat pumps to Europe in order to take away Russia’s influence.

Analysts say the biggest issue is the price. Because the UK part of a global market, any sudden changes to price hit the country. Wholesale prices skyrocketed when when Russia invaded Ukraine, leaping to 800p per therm on March 6 from just 45p at the same time last year.

For drivers, the cost of a tank of diesel for a Ford Focus hit £85 this week — up £1.50 in 24 hours – and a tank of unleaded is £81.01, and both could hit £90 this month. 

A large family car will now cost over £100 to fill up and a 4×4 Land Rover would take up around £165 per tank.  

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is said to have snubbed a request from Joe Biden to have a call on the issue of oil supply, as the West tries to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels.

Diesel fuel price hit almost £1.86 per litre in a BP Petrol Station in Grays, Essex, on Wednesday

In Parliament, MPs have warned that economic shock even more dire than the 1973 oil crisis is looming for the UK as energy prices around the world are soaring, putting more pressure on already struggling British households.

Rocketing inflation – currently 5.5 per cent – could leave the average family £1,750-a-year worse off, according to think-tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Some fear inflation could hit 8 per cent within months. 

As fuel prices rose at a rate of 5p per day, former Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick, 40, admitted that this crisis coupled with the cost of heating a home and rising food prices, it could be ‘the most difficult economic year we’ve seen in my lifetime’. 

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