In a meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), it was confirmed that production of crude oil will be cut for the first time in eight years.
It is hoped the move will help to ease the oversupply of oil that has caused the cost of a barrel to plummet in recent years, putting great pressure on the energy industry.
But in the wake of the decision, the cost of Brent crude – which sets the benchmark price for oil purchases worldwide – rocketed by 5.9% to $48.69, though this has since settled at around the $45 mark.
Despite this, the RAC has said that the cut in production is unlikely to lead to an increase in the price of petrol and diesel on forecourts around the UK.
Simon Williams, fuel spokesman for the motoring organisation, said: “From a motorists’ perspective we don’t feel there is cause to panic as, while pump prices may rise a little in the short-term from the current 112p a litre for petrol and 113p for diesel, we are very unlikely to see a return to the dark days of April 2012 when unleaded was 142p and diesel was 148p as a result of oil being well over $100 a barrel.”
Opec, which is made up of 14 of the world’s leading oil-producing countries, has sought to keep prices low in previous years to counter the threat from US shale oil.
The output cut agreed at the meeting in Algeria will see production scaled down from around 33.24 million barrels per day to a range of between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels.
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Representatives from Opec will now iron out the precise details of the reduction in output at a meeting in Vienna, scheduled to take place in November.
Motorists have recently been able to enjoy cheaper fuel after a dip in the average cost of both diesel and unleaded brought an end to four months of price rises.
According to figures from the RAC’s Fuel Watch report of July, the price of unleaded dropped 0.41p, while diesel drivers saw a drop of 0.06p.
The lower prices came after the RAC urged retailers to pass on savings they were making on the wholesale cost of fuel to motorists.
In July, retailers had to pay 4.41p less for a litre of unleaded and 4.67p for the same amount of diesel, as the weakening oil market saw the price of a barrel decline.