Oil barrel prices significantly down

Oil barrel prices significantly down

Prices at the petrol pump could soon hit their lowest for years following news that oil prices have dropped below 80 dollars a barrel.

December delivery figures for Brent crude dropped as low as 79 dollars per barrel, following industry cartel Opec's predictions for slightly reduced demand for oil next year (down to 29.2 million barrels a day).

Uncertain growth figures - with Chinese expansion showing signs of slowing down and a stagnant eurozone - have led to fears that there will be a surfeit of oil in the global economy. This has the positive aspect of falling prices on the forecourt, although a poor rate of exchange between pound and dollar means they are not as low as they might be.

With unleaded petrol at 123.15p, and diesel at 127.63p on average, filling a 50-litre tank is £2.50 cheaper than last year.

Opec members are under pressure to cut production to help prop up any drop in price, with Brent crude prices heading lower.

Saudi Arabia's move to cut prices to the US, is a move widely interpreted as a way of staying competitive with shale oil.

Copyright Press Association 2014