Motorists are being warned to brace for pain at the bowser with petrol prices surging to 157.1c per litre tomorrow — their highest level since May — in the wake of drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil fields earlier this month.
Ten days after the destruction of two Saudi oil facilities, which knocked out half of the petrostate’s production overnight, the consequences of reduced supply are beginning to flow through to petrol pumps across WA.
Average metropolitan petrol prices will skyrocket 21.1c to 157.1cpl tomorrow — 5.7c per litre more expensive than at the same time last week. That comes after average retail prices in Perth rose 4.8c last week to 143.3cpl, according to the latest report from the Australian Institute of Petroleum.
Worryingly, the same report found the benchmark Singapore wholesale petrol price climbed 7.4c last week to 74cpl. There is traditionally a seven-to-10 day lag before rises in the Singaporean wholesale price translate to Australian bowsers, suggesting the price will continue to climb into next week and possibly beyond.
FuelWatch coordinator Kyle Huynh said it was clear a drop in global supply as a result of the attacks on Saudi Arabia was contributing to price hikes but cautioned that oil was a naturally volatile commodity and fluctuations were not uncommon.
“The price of crude oil did shoot up last week but then shot back down again as Saudi Arabia got half of its lost production back online,” Mr Huynh said.
“Last week’s average weekly petrol price in WA was higher than the week before and we would expect the average price to rise again this week.”
Beyond that, Mr Hunyh said it was impossible to predict where prices would go or whether the current record highest average price of 165.5cpl – set on October 16 last year – was in danger.
But he pointed out the current wholesale price of a barrel of petrol in Singapore at around $119 remained well below the $130 per barrel reached last October when average weekly prices in Perth reached 154.1cpl.
In a statement released yesterday, Commsec predicted global oil prices would continue to rise with Saudi Arabia now expected to take longer than initially thought to return to full production.
A weak Australian dollar is also pushing up the price of petrol.
Tomorrow’s cheapest petrol can be found at Puma High Wycombe (129.7cpl), Caltex South Lake (131.7cpl) and Caltex Aveley (131.5cpl).
Most Caltex sites will be charging 169.9cpl, the most expensive price in Perth.
Extracted from The West