Make the fracking most of cheap petrol prices
MILLIONS of us are enjoying the very welcome cheaper prices at the petrol pump.
All indications are this will continue for at least another five months, so fill your boots – and your tanks – while you can.
Plummeting fuel prices are something we simply didn’t expect to happen – not in an age where apart from supermarket wars over the cost of beans, everything always, ALWAYS goes up.
But what has sparked these savings? How come we no longer need take out a small mortgage just to power our motors to work and back?
The Saudis are the main protagonists. With an estimated £400bn in bank reserves, they can well afford to push prices lower, even though it costs them money.
It’s a neat way of scaring the living daylights out of Russia, for starters.
Vladimir Putin might not give a toss about sanctions, but chop his nation’s main source of income in half and the Great Bear really does get into trouble.
While Putin’s rouble falls through the floor, Venezuela – also among the world’s bigger oil producers – faces a similar economic crisis.
It costs about 70p to fill up a TANK in Caracus because the Government subsidises petrol for its woefully paid population.
But like Russia, the price it sells to the rest of the world has fallen massively and it was already feeling the pinch before oil prices fell.
So why are these oil-rich countries engaged in a race to the bottom despite the economic pain it’s bringing upon themselves?
Don’t be surprised to learn it’s NOT because they want to save you money.
No, it’s because there’s a new kid on the block threatening their very futures – which is why they’re prepared to take such a hit on their oil now in return for riches later.
That spotty new kid causing trouble for the traditional oilproducing countries is known as Hydraulic Fracturing – or fracking.
The huge growth of shale oil and gas extraction plants across north America is scaring the crap out of the men in white robes and Gucci sunglasses – so they’re using their financial muscle to push prices down, hampering investment in the fracking industry and therefore production.
Many will say this is a good thing, and they may well be right.
But as I’ve said before, not having a geology degree means I tend to leave these things to the experts.
Fracking evidently has its ups and downs, but conventional oil wells still aren’t 100 per cent safe, nuclear has had its problems and wind turbines just don’t work.
Yet we all need power to keep the internet on so we can moan about “the man”, don’t we?
When – not if – petrol prices hurtle back up again and it costs twice as much to drive to protest outside a fracking site, maybe ask yourself who you’re doing it for – Mother Earth, or a multi-billionaire sheikh?