UK petrol prices are set to rocket to a level not seen since 2014 due to Hurricane Harvey


The epic storm has damaged the heart of the US' oil producing region (Source: Getty)

UK petrol prices are facing a steep hike as the fallout from Hurricane Harvey in Texas starts to creep across the pond.

Drivers have been warned to expect increases of up to 4p per litre on the forecourt in the coming days. 

That would bump petrol prices up above 121p per litre, a price not seen since December 2014.

According to the RAC's data, this would also mean the average price of a litre of unleaded overtakes diesel, which hasn't happened in the UK since early June 2016.

Demand is rising

RAC spokesman Pete Williams said: “The price of unleaded petrol will leapfrog diesel early next week, rising by up to 4p per litre as the impact of Storm Harvey and the shut-down of large refineries in the Gulf Coast drives up US demand for petrol imports."

Gasoline prices have shot up due to about a quarter of US refineries going offline. Overall costs from the devastating storm are likely to reach $190bn (£147bn) - more than Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina.

“We expect this to be the case for some time to come, or at least until the US oil industry is able to get refineries back into operation and production in the Gulf Coast returns to normal - to meet the United States’ immense appetite for gasoline," Williams said.

“We have already seen the wholesale price of unleaded increase by 5p in just the last week and the ongoing crisis in the state of Texas could have a prolonged impact on demand and, in turn, the wholesale price – so we may see further price increases on the UK forecourt.”

Gasoline futures have fallen from yesterday's highs of $2 - at the time of writing, they were down to $1.7577 per gallon. 

Read more: Hurricane Harvey will cost more than Sandy and Katrina