SYDNEY, AAP – An overnight surge in the cost of oil sparked by the crisis in Ukraine has contributed to record fuel prices for Australian drivers.

And Aussies have been warned the Russian invasion of its neighbour means further sudden price spikes and volatility are here to stay, Peter Khoury from the NRMA said on Friday.

“Unfortunately as feared and predicted, the events of the last 24 hours have led to a sudden increase overnight of world oil prices,” he said.

“The Russian crisis is playing a significant part in these sudden and dramatic increases.”

Those price rises were the “second significant spike we’ve seen this week”, Mr Khoury said.


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The price of world oil jumped $5 a barrel in the past 24 hours, and $10 in the past week, as the world braced for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said.

Of the nation’s capital cities, Brisbane and Melbourne reported the highest unleaded fuel prices, reaching a whopping 205.9c a litre on Thursday, according to NRMA data.

The highest average was reported in Hobart, which hit 194.5c a litre, Perth (192.1c), and Darwin (189.7c).

Mr Khoury said there had also been an overall trend over the past 12 months of rising oil prices.

“What we have noticed is (prices) will spike suddenly, it will peter out a little bit and then spike again,” he said.

“As the crisis continues to worsen and talk of sanctions (against Russia) continues globally we expect that volatility to continue.

“That means Australian motorists will continue to be exposed to these record high petrol and diesel prices.”

Mr Khoury said despite the uncertainty, drivers should not pay more than $2 a litre for fuel – adding the wholesale price remained about $1.70.

“Any service station charging over $2 a litre – we would encourage motorists to just drive straight past them,” he said.

He said drivers should use “real-time data” apps to source cheap fuel.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday the cost of fuel was a global issue and a fuel excise was not on the table for next month’s federal budget.

“The advice we are getting, particularly out of the International Energy Agency, is that this impact is likely to be short-term, it’s likely to be temporary,” he told the Nine Network.

“You don’t go and completely recalibrate your budget based on fluctuations in oil prices.”

His comments came as the price of crude oil neared $US1000 a barrel, and before Russian forces had invaded Ukraine.

Price of unleaded petrol in capital cities:

City – Average – High – Low

Adelaide: 183.4 – 199.9 – 161.5

Brisbane: 179.4 – 205.9 – 167.9

Canberra: 180.6 – 183.9 – 175.9

Darwin: 189.7 – 191.9 -185.7

Hobart: 194.5 – 201.9 – 179.9

Melbourne: 173.9 – 205.9 – 164.9

Perth: 192.1 – 201.9 – 165.7

Sydney: 185.6 – 199.9 – 167.7