The higher oil price is noticeable at the gas stations. This could cause drivers to rethink their approach in the medium term.
Author: Manuela Siegert, Harry Stitzel
Drivers in Switzerland don’t like to see the number 2 at gas stations. The limit has now been reached again. According to TCS, gasoline costs up to 2.05 francs per liter. Diesel costs 2.09 francs. However, the regional differences are sometimes clear.
Truck driver Caner Mindik has just filled up with diesel for 270 francs. “The price should come down a bit,” he thinks. Rosa-Maria Russo also fills up at Shell in Hunzenschwil. She says: “I rely on the car to work. Whether it’s expensive or not: I have to fill up.”
Black gold is becoming more and more expensive
What is happening on the oil markets can be felt at the Swiss gas pumps. This year, black gold has never been as expensive as it is these days. Brent crude reached $95.15 a barrel. Since the beginning of July, prices have increased by around 35 percent.
“On the one hand, we see great uncertainty due to the war in Ukraine and the tensions between the USA and China,” says Ramon Werner, managing director of the Swiss oil trader Oel-Pool. «On the other hand, we also see very high demand. The economy is still growing, needs oil, and that is driving up the price.”
In addition: Russia and Saudi Arabia are deliberately producing less oil. At the beginning of the month they extended the oil production cuts until the end of 2023.
Conscious reduction of the flow rate
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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC and its member states want to produce around 40 million barrels (159 liters each) per day in 2024. According to calculations by the Russian agency Tass, this means a reduction in total OPEC+ production by 1.39 million barrels per day.
The OPEC+ alliance of 23 countries made this decision on June 4, 2023 in Vienna. The price of oil had fallen sharply in advance and at the same time had been volatile for months.
Oel-Pool operates more than 340 “Ruedi-Rüssel” gas stations. Ramon Werner says he himself doesn’t benefit from higher prices: “We would rather sell petrol for 1.40. We have questions from the media and from the price watchdog. All of this results in a high level of dissatisfaction.”
Nothing can be changed in the short term, and the high price of gasoline is not stopping people from driving. “But in the medium term, at the latest when you buy a new car, think about it. Then you either buy one with lower consumption or you switch to alternatives.”
Greek entrepreneur George Oratis has a different perspective on gasoline prices. He also fills up in Switzerland and says: “It costs the same as in Greece. “It’s not particularly expensive when you consider that our wage levels there are only half as high.”