Oil Prices Saudi attack

Oil prices jump amid Saudi attacks and war fears

Donald Trump has warned that the US is prepared for war if there is definitive proof that Iran was behind attacks on fuel facilities in Saudi Arabia at the weekend that upended global oil markets.

The attacks significantly hit production at the world’s biggest crude processing plant, leading to the biggest spike in the price of oil in decades.

Markets volatile after attacks

 

Two oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia were hit with drone-launched explosives at the weekend, causing significant damage and cutting the production of oil in the country by 5.7 million barrels a day.

This equates to half of Saudi Arabia’s exports and around five per cent of global daily output.

As a result, oil prices initially jumped by more than 20 per cent as traders reacted to the news, before falling back by around ten per cent after Mr Trump suggested US reserves could be used to make up any shortfall.

However, with tensions in the region high and the US warning of more escalations, prices are likely to remain volatile for some time, which could well have a knock-on effect for UK forecourts.

Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed credit for the attacks, but Saudi Arabia and the US have instead pointed the finger directly at Iran.

When asked at the White House if the Iranian regime was behind the bombings, Mr Trump said: “It’s certainly looking that way at this moment, and we’ll let you know. As soon as we find out definitively we’ll let you know but it does look that way. I don’t want war with anybody but we’re prepared more than anybody.”

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “It could take months for oil production to get back to normal, so this serves as a reminder of how vulnerable the global fuel supply chain is. We should all be hoping calm heads prevail and the situation doesn’t escalate any further.”

Drink Driving

GEM responds to increase in drink-drive fatalities

New figures published by the Department for Transport have highlighted an increase in the number of people killed on the UK’s roads as a result of drink-driving.

Responding to the data, GEM Motoring Assist believes more now needs to be done to tackle this blight on society.

GEM calls for change

Overall, the latest government data estimates a total of 250 people lost their lives last year in incidents where one driver was over the legal alcohol limit. This represents a nine per cent increase from 2016.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said: “It is very disturbing that there has been an increase in the number of people killed in drink-drive collisions.

“We know that to detect and deter drink-drivers – as with all high-risk offenders – there needs to be adequate enforcement. But roads policing officer numbers have reduced considerably.”

As such, GEM is calling for a reduction in the legal limit from 80 to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, as well as reinvigorating campaigns to highlight the dangers of alcohol and investing in more officers to patrol and police the problem up and down the country.

It is hoped that by taking a much tougher and direct stance on drink-driving, future years will see a welcome decrease in deaths.

Jenny Smith, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “Drinking and driving is never something to be proud of. Motorists who get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol run the risk of killing themselves or others.”

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Longman Junction Improvement scheme

£1m groundwork contract awarded for Longman Junction Improvement scheme

Transport Scotland has awarded a new £1 million contract to support groundworks for the delivery of enhancements to the A9/A82 Longman Junction.

Work at the site will begin in October and is expected to last for approximately eight weeks.

Another step in the right direction

Soil Engineering Geoservices has been awarded the contract and will be carrying out in-depth ground investigations as part of the latest phase of the project.

Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity Michael Matheson said: “Having let the public see and comment on the preferred option for the scheme in June, we are continuing to push forward with the design of the preferred option in greater detail, with a view to publishing draft orders next year.

“These ground investigations will provide the detailed information needed to help inform the ongoing development and assessment of the preferred option.”

A representative for Transport Scotland added that road users and members of the local community will be kept fully informed about the progress of this project.

All traffic management will also be fully monitored and engineers will endeavour to keep levels of disruption to a minimum.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at FCS Scotland, adds: “It may cause a little disruption in the weeks and months to come, but the results of this ambitious scheme will mean travellers and the local community around the junction will benefit greatly in the years ahead.”