TERRORIST ATTACKS in the Middle East have pushed oil values to their highest levels in almost 14 years, hitting farmers‘ fuel bills.

Brent crude, the main European benchmark, rose $1.45 a barrel on Tuesday (May 4) to almost $36 a barrel, a price not seen since Iraq invaded Kuwait in October 1990.

The hikes are based on fears that the conflict in Iraq and recent bombings aimed at the oil industry in Saudi Arabia could escalate, threatening supplies.

Nick Adamson, managing director of Oxon-based independent fuel dealer Ackerman and Niece said the price of red diesel had gone up 10% over the past month to 21-22p/litre before VAT.

“It‘s not looking good for the next month at least if the terrorist threat doesn‘t go away.”

Prices could also come under pressure towards the end of summer as farmers tried to stock up for autumn work before Chancellor Gordon Brown‘s 2.4p/litre increase on fuel duty comes into effect on Sept 1, he added.