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Petrol prices hit new record

Pump prices rise for third week in a row - and Total boss warns that €2 a litre could be on way

FOR THE third week petrol prices have hit new records and the average price of a litre of sans plomb 95 was €1.58, with sans plomb 98 at €1.62.

Fears over the Euro debt crisis, Iran and instability in Nigeria have prompted the latest round of increases - not helped by this week's announcement by Iran that it was halting supplies of oil to France and the UK.

France and the UK both stopped buying Iranian oil in 2011 but oil prices are rising in response to fears that Iran will blockade the Strait of Hormuz - through which 15 millions of barrels of oil are transported each day.

The price of a barrel of crude oil is at its highest for eight months, $121 (€91.2), and analysts at JP Morgan have said it could reach $150 (€113) by Easter. Total boss Christophe de Margerie has already said that "one day" petrol could hit €2 a litre, "the only question is when".

Diesel makes up 80% of the French fuel consumption and prices are, at €1.42, still below their 2008 record level. Heating oil is - after one of France's deepest freezes - at €1.02 a litre, although distributors have said they feel it will fall.

You can find the cheapest petrol in your area using the government's official price indicator at the Prix Carburants website. Find it at the website www.prix-carburants.gouv.fr and check your department.

Photo: © richard villalon - Fotolia.com

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