British businesses have paid £11.1 billion extra because of rising energy costs in the last six months alone, it has been claimed.
Consultancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward, publishing its latest industry watch report today, has calculated that rising oil prices, caused by Iran's nuclear standoff with the western world and instability in oil-producing Nigeria, have had a damaging effect on the British economy.
In particular the report singles out the "beleaguered" manufacturing sector as being badly hit, especially in the oil and fats manufacturing, shipbuilding and metal sectors, where profits have been hit by over 50 per cent.
"Manufacturers have borne the brunt of oil price hikes, and ultimately, some have fallen by the wayside," said Shay Bannon, business restructuring partner at BDO Stoy Hayward.
"UK industry's dependence on oil is well-known, but it is shocking to discover the huge sums of money that businesses must find when oil prices increase and the effect this has on profitability."
The report suggests that approximately ten per cent more companies are expected to go out of business as a direct result of the oil price hikes.
Oil futures have shown a growing tendency to react strongly to geopolitical manoeuvrings between the world's powers, spiking with each new threat issued by Iran and dipping following western interventions and other shows of power.
As Scott Knight, head of BDO Stoy Hayward's oil and gas team observed that with "continuing geopolitical uncertainty, most notably in Iran and Latin America combined with the continued tightness in refining capacity, I expect prices to remain in the current range for the medium term".