By Brendan Rees
Petrol prices have gone through the roof around Casey following a recent drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil processing plant.
Prices hit as high as 171.9 cents a litre in Berwick and Cranbourne – reaching a three month high in the past week.
It’s estimated that about half of Saudi Arabia’s oil output has been affected by the attack and subsequent fires, according to CommSec’s Craig James.
“Whether today’s spike in the oil price is sustained will depend on the advice of Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia’s oil company),” Mr James said.
Among the highest unleaded prices revealed on Petrolspy.com on Thursday 19 September was Woolworth Caltex on the South Gippsland Highway in Cranbourne at 171.9c a litre.
This is despite United Cranbourne on the corner of High Street and Clarendon Street – about 4km away from Woolworth Caltex – advertising a 44 cent difference with 127.7c a litre.
A 171.9c a litre was also recorded at BP Cranbourne North on Cranbourne – Narre Warren Road, Coles Express Cranbourne North on the South Gippsland Highway, and Coles Express at Fountain Gate
BP Berwick on Clyde Road was not fairer much better at 167.9c a litre.
The Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack on Saudi Arabia on Saturday 14 September.
“A range of options available to ensure any short-term production disruption can be made up from other global sources across OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and non-OPEC nations,” Mr James said.
Mr James said although motorists are paying slightly less than this time last year, they “should get used to pump prices hovering around $1.40 to $1.50 a litre.”
RACV vehicle engineering manager Michael Case advised motorists to shop around for cheap fuel, otherwise just top up.
“The length of any price cycle is difficult to predict accurately,” he said.
“As a general rule, if wholesale prices are going up, the discount phase of the cycle will be shorter. If it is going down the discount phase will be longer.
“At present the wholesale price is trending slightly upwards. The typical length for a price cycle, with a stable wholesale price, is approximately three weeks,” Mr Case said.
The RACV website listed Melbourne’s average unleaded fuel price on Thursday 19 September as 147.4c a litre with the highest listed as 171.9c a litre.
According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average price of unleaded petrol rose by 3.4 cents in the past week to 143.6 cents a litre.