Fuel prices have increased steadily in recent weeks, with prices of more than €1.70 per litre for petrol and €1.60 for diesel in some petrol stations across the country.

It is the highest prices have been in almost ten years and is associated with a global shortage of supply.

The price of a barrel of crude oil, which was as low as $16 (€14) in April 2020, is now $85 (€73), the highest it has been in over three years.

The pandemic has affected both supply and demand.

With a recent rise in demand, supply from the oil producing countries simply has not caught up and this could take time.

In addition, Government tax increases in the recent budget of two cent on a litre of petrol and 2.5 cent on a litre of diesel, in addition to continued carbon taxes, are feeding into the price consumers are paying for petrol, diesel and home heating oil

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Anna Cullen from AA Ireland has been monitoring the price of petrol and diesel at the pumps in the past number of months and said there has been a steady rise of about one cent per litre a week, and it appears this will continue in the short term.

"Demand for oil dropped considerably during the Covid pandemic, which had a devastating impact on oil production as demand for the product dropped, and so consequently did supply," she said.

"But now as society is back up and running, and traffic levels are almost back up to pre-pandemic levels, demand is back up and steadily growing, but supply has not caught up," Ms Cullen added.

"The average price of a litre of petrol across the country is now just over €1.64.6 and diesel €156.6.

"At some pumps, petrol is over €1.70 a litre, prices not seen since 2012. Back in that year prices were very high, but did not rise over €1.70 a litre and they are over that level now," she said.

OPEC has released an outlook report on supply, which said that global oil supplies would exceed 2019 levels but not until 2023.

Supply will continue to rise until it plateaus, according to a long forecast up to 2035.

In the short term, a rise in prices is likely for consumers as this shortage of supply continues across the world.

Read more: Oil hits multi-year high, then pulls back