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Oil and gas prices soar as turmoil from Russia’s Ukraine attack intensifies

Barrel of Brent crude moves past $111, while price of petrol at UK forecourts has hit 151.67p

The Guardian: Oil and gas prices are soaring, with prices at UK petrol pumps hitting a new high as Russia’s escalating invasion of Ukraine continues to cause turmoil in the energy markets.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil moved past $111 (£83) on Wednesday, its highest level since early July 2014, despite a decision by the US to release, with its allies, about 60m barrels from their strategic reserves, in an attempt to stabilise global energy markets.

Gas prices also rose, with the UK’s rising almost 40% to 398p a therm in morning trading, not far from the all-time high above 450p seen in late 2021.

The increase threatens to exacerbate a cost of living crisis that has prompted predictions of £3,000-a-year energy bills for households in Great Britain, with rising energy prices set to pile further pressure on already soaring inflation.

Despite the soaring price, the Opec oil cartel and its allies are likely to stick to modest plans for output rises when they meet later on Wednesday. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters