Big freeze triggers oil price hike

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Surprise? Not!

fuel_oil1 Britain's big freeze of early December 2010 has forced domestic oil prices through the roof, with some rural residents paying 50% more to heat their homes.

Oil is being quoted at 65p/liter compared to 40-45p just a fortnight ago, according to the price comparison website

Worst-hit by the weather, farm leaders in Scotland said the distribution of fuel supplies was of growing concern.

NFU Scotland is urging its members to contact fuel suppliers to investigate whether fuel can be collected from central distribution points. Fuel collection stations are already operating in parts of the Borders.

NFUS chief executive James Withers said: "Our focus is on helping farming families deal with the weather by getting vital feed and fuel through to them.

"At the same time, we are working hard with Scottish Government on how we can keep Scotland's food and farming industries running."

Although readily available at depots, fuel for heating and machinery on many farms is running out.

"We would urge anyone in this position to contact your fuel supplier and enquire if collection from a local distribution point is possible," said Mr Withers. "Such a scheme is already operating in parts of the Borders and could provide vital relief."

Further south, supplies are getting through but oil remains expensive. In Oxfordshire, villagers are being asked to pay 65p/liter, compared to just 40-45p/liter a fortnight ago.

The situation is similar in eastern England, where temperatures plummeted to -13C in parts of Lincolnshire.

Residents in the eastern counties are being quoted 63-4p/liter for deliveries heating oil to outlying areas.

And gasoline and non-agricultural (Red) diesel have reached the dizzy heights of above 120 pence per liter, making it £6 per UK gallon.

While we must accept that there are problems with distribution of the fuel oil and gasoline and diesel apparently, so industry tells us, there are no shortages of the stuff. If that is the case, why the price hike?

That being a rhetorical question, obviously, as the answer is as obvious as a roaring fire at a dark night. It is a nice little earner for the fuel producers and distributors and that they fleece the poor along with the rich does not bother them one bit.

© 2010