Pump price cuts by petrol giants

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The Independent Online

Two petrol giants have cut their prices at the pumps - but both deny the decision was related to an intensifying price war.

Two petrol giants have cut their prices at the pumps - but both deny the decision was related to an intensifying price war.

BP and Shell both cut the price of unleaded fuel, but said they were doing so because of falling commodity prices and not in response to similar price cuts by supermarkets.

On Friday Shell cut its price for unleaded petrol to 79.9p a litre, matching moves by Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons.

Asda has said it is offering petrol at 79.5p per litre at some sites.

And BP said today its typical price at the pump for unleaded petrol was now 82p a litre, following a 1p cut on Monday and a further 1p cut on Friday night. A spokeswoman said the move had been made solely because prices for petrol on the world market were falling, which meant BP was able to feed through price cuts for consumers.

But consumer concerns that petrol firms were ripping off motorists are unlikely to go away this week as both Shell and oil exploration and production company Lasmo report results.

The City is expecting healthy half-year results from Shell, with forecasts of earnings to be around £2.2bn, up 4.5 per cent on the same period last year.

Lasmo is expected to report half-year figures around ten times higher than last time, with net earnings expected to be around £140m, from £12m in the comparable financial period.

Meanwhile motorists will again be urged to boycott pumps this week in protest at high prices.

Businessman Gary Russell wants drivers to boycott pumps next week in a "dump the pump" campaign and then avoid forecourts every Monday after that.

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