Petrol prices 'must not increase'

Retailers have been told they must not use Opec's cut in oil production as an excuse to increase the price of petrol.

The organisation has announced it is to cut output by 1.5 million barrels a day, a move the Government branded "disappointing".

Energy Minister Mike O'Brien insisted this should "steady" the international oil price after sharp falls recently.

The minister told Sky News: "We don't want to see retailers using any excuse to increase fuel prices. There's no need to do that".

He explained Britain had started to see benefits of lower oil prices, with petrol now 94p per litre in some areas, and he wants gas costs to follow suit.

He has urged consumers to "punish" the garages that maintain high prices by making sure they buy it from cheaper forecourts.

Mr O'Brien said: "At this point more than any other we need some benefits. And some of the benefits feeding through from lower energy prices are welcome at the moment."

"There is precious little good news going out and the drop in the oil price over recent weeks has been something that could be helpful to the economy."

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