Orange motorists have been feeling pressure at the petrol bowser as fuel prices jumped to as high as 145.9 cents per litre due to a reduction in crude oil production.
For the week ending at January 8, the average petrol price in Orange was 128.5 cents per litre.
According to the state government’s Fuel Check website at midday on Friday, the cheapest price in Orange for unleaded fuel was 144.4 cents.
Competition is still tight amongst service stations, the highest price for unleaded was 145.9 cents.
The jump in petrol prices has sent drivers scurrying to find the cheapest servo to fill up, and there’s talk on social media of people leaving town to find the best price.
NRMA spokeswoman Rebecca Page said the rises weren’t isolated to any individual city – petrol prices had soared everywhere after oil-producing nations agreed to reduce supply.
A weakened Australian dollar had added to the problem, but there was light at the end of the tunnel.
“There’s good news in that the Aussie dollar has risen slightly against the greenback and the barrel-price of oil has fallen by about $3,” Ms Page said.
“The worst should be behind us, we don’t expect to see further rises.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had warned of the rises last week, with chairman Rod Sims citing the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as a key factor.
“Along with the falling exchange rate, the OPEC agreements are the primary reason for increases in wholesale petrol prices over the past six weeks and why motorists are likely to see higher petrol prices in the near future,” Mr Sims said.
“The OPEC cartel, therefore, continues to cause Australian motorists to pay much more for petrol than they should.”
With the price rise coming as a shock to many, Ms Page said people should make use of petrol price apps and look for a good deal.
“More often independent service stations are cheaper because petrol is their core product and they need to compete on cost,” she said.
“We encourage motorists to support independent operators.”
Meanwhile, while the price of unleaded fuel has jumped, diesel fuel has been going the other way.
On January 8, the average price was 125.4 cents per litre, at midday on Friday the cheapest price in Orange was 123.7 according to the NSW Fuel Check website – the highest price was 136.9 cents.