Petrol firms under new pressure to cut prices

THE Government is applying pressure on oil companies to reduce petrol costs in line with the fall in crude oil. Helen Liddell, the energy minister, will ask them to cut prices at her next meeting with oil chiefs in the New Year. Oil company profits have soared threefold since the end of the fuel crisis, but motorists have not received any reduction at the pump. Miss Liddell said: 'Consumers have taken a hit for high oil prices earlier this year and it's time they reaped the benefits of the reduction of recent months.' Over the past month the price of crude oil has fallen dramatically, slumping by more than $10 a barrel to around $23. The wholesale cost of petrol has fallen from 15.45p a litre to 11.1p.

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