Average fuel prices across western NSW have hit $1.50 per litre and motorists are being warned the situation is unlikely to get better in the near future.
Global oil prices have risen for six consecutive weeks and are expected to continue to rise, due to external factors, NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury.
Lithgow, which had previously been one of the cheapest locations in the region, was offering an average of 154 cents for unleaded and 152.7 for diesel.
Across the Central West, prices have risen between 20-30 cents since mid-March but Mr Khoury said prices aren’t likely to get much higher.
“The average price in Sydney is 155 cents but based on the fuel cycle, we expect it will drop to 137 in around two weeks time,” he said.
“Regional NSW isn’t seeing the fluctuations we are seeing in the city. A lot of regional towns are averaging 150 cents per litre and we don’t think they will reach 155 but it probably also won’t drop lower again any time soon because the regions don’t have a fuel cycle.”
Incredibly Grenfell had the cheapest fuel in the region, with the Metro service station offering regular unleaded for 135.9 cents per litre and diesel for 140.9.
Oberon’s Westside Petroleum had unleaded for 140.9 and diesel for 141.9.
Metro fuel stations were consistently among the cheapest, with the the station at Perthville, near Bathurst offering 143.9 for unleaded and 145.9 for premium diesel while Metro at Bathurst were 145.9 and 146.9 for the same fuels.
Metro at Orange also offered 145.9 for unleaded and 147.9 for regular diesel while at Forbes the retailer had the same fuels for 147.9 and 145.9 respectively.
No fuel could be found for less than 150 cents at stations at Mudgee, Parkes and Young.
The main reason behind the higher prices was because of the highest demand for oil in seven years, while OPEC nations were limiting supply, Mr Khoury said.
Ongoing instability in the Middle East and potential sanctions against OPEC nations Venezuela and Iran could have further effects on prices in the future, he added.
Because it was international factors pushing up prices, Mr Khoury said the increases were consistent but he said there were some towns where prices for unleaded and diesel were lower.
“There are some towns that are fairing better. There are a few towns with prices below 150 cents and that is quite good at the moment, while others are much higher.
“But within towns, prices can vary by at least 10 cents per litre so people need to shop around.”
Mr Khoury said people could access real-time data to find the cheapest stations in town and be sure it was up-to-date.
That data is available through the government’s website fuelcheck.nsw.gov.au or via the my nrma app.
The NRMA has also partnered with Caltex to provide a three cents per litre discount for regular unleaded, E10 and diesel, and a five cents per litre discount on premium fuels, Mr Khoury said.