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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 August, 2004, 13:28 GMT 14:28 UK
Petrol prices 'to stay high' - BP
Lord Browne
No reduction in the near future, says Browne
As families drive off on holiday, BP's chairman has warned that motorists are unlikely to see relief from soaring petrol prices at the pumps.

Prices will remain high in the short term, due to global supply insecurity, Lord Browne predicted.

Crude oil prices - which determine pump charges - hit new highs this week.

Meanwhile, acts of sabotage in Iraq and the possible bankruptcy of Russian producer Yukos mean supply remains uncertain, while demand is strong.

"One day (oil prices) will come down, but not in the very short term," Lord Browne told the BBC.

'Tank not dry'

He also thought it unlikely Chancellor Gordon Brown would abandon completely his planned 1.42p increase in fuel duty, despite it being postponed until November's Pre-Budget Report.

"It's a huge revenue producer for the Government and it's probably unrealistic to expect them to back off from that," he said.

Lord Browne said supplies at the moment were "a little bit uncertain" due to the unstable situation in Iraq and some other countries, where production had been "switched on and off".

But he added: "The tank is not really running dry. There's an enormous amount of oil in the world and it will be produced."

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