Petrol prices could climb to €2 a litre within the next 15 months -- leaving drivers facing a bill of €110 to fill the average family car, a leading oil expert has warned.
Paul Harris, head of natural resources risk management with Bank of Ireland, believes that oil prices could increase by about 20 per cent over the next year -- which would push up the price of petrol to €1.85 a litre by this time next year. "It's possible petrol prices of €2 a litre may be seen in 2014," added Harris.
In early 2008, Harris predicted that oil prices would peak at about $150 a barrel -- around the same time that the investment bank, Goldman Sachs, said oil prices could climb to $200 a barrel. Harris's forecast was right -- oil prices peaked at $147 a barrel in July 2008. When Hurricane Katrina slammed the US Gulf Coast in 2005, Harris correctly predicted that the hurricane would push up oil prices by $25 a barrel.
"2013 should see the upward trend in oil prices which has been largely uninterrupted since the lows of January 2009 continue," said Harris. "Tensions in the Middle East centred round Syria and Turkey, together with increasing concern over the progress of the Iranian uranium enrichment programme, serve to create a floor below which prices will not fall."
Oil prices are currently about $114 a barrel. "Oil will likely end this year in the $115 to $120 range," said Harris. "In 2013, it is likely that prices will continue to grind higher with prices this time next year around the $120 to $135 level."