For many Austrians these days, the way to the gas station is like the way to the scaffold. Oil prices are and will remain higher than ever – both in Austria and in our neighbors in Germany. While Austrians are now increasingly switching to Hungary or Slovakia, where oil prices are capped by politics, German fuel tourists are saving in Poland. War is raging – that is the cross we have to bear now, one would like to think, the price at the gas pump is based on the purchase price – one would like to think so. But that is not correct.
In fact, crude oil prices are falling again, the purchase price for crude oil is almost back to the level before the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Then why are we still paying so much? Super petrol is still around 45 cents more expensive than before, and diesel is even around 64 cents more expensive.
On Tuesday, the price of Brent oil, which is important in Europe, fell to less than $100 per barrel (159 liters). Until early last week, it had been rising since Putin gave the order to attack Ukraine, peaking at $139.13 at one point. However, the price has now fallen sharply again. When it comes to fuel, however, nothing is noticeable. On the contrary. This cannot be explained under any circumstances – somewhere between oil production and gas station the additional driver’s money gets stuck.
But one thing is clear: the mineral oil companies are currently making really good money in the refinery business. The ÖAMTC saw the oil industry as obliged to explain on Monday why the prices for petrol and diesel rose so much more than the price of crude oil. At the beginning of the week, the price of petrol in Austria mostly fell below EUR 1.9 and diesel below EUR 2.
“The refineries are currently making significantly more money than before. It also cannot be ruled out that some companies tried to build up some fat in order to be prepared for falling prices. The petrol stations themselves, on the other hand, have hardly any options for setting prices.