Australia's petrol price rises as oil spill continues

08:27, May 04, 2010      

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The Australian national price of petrol has risen after a major price war across Sydney finished and crude oil costs pushed higher, Australian Associated Press ( AAP) reported on Monday.

A liter of unleaded cost 1.29 dollars (1.19 U.S. dollars) in the week ended May 2.

With Sydney's bowser battle ending, the price there rose almost three cents (2.77 U.S. cents).

It has left Canberra as the cheapest capital to fill the tank with prices there more than half a cent (0.92 U.S. cents) cheaper than Sydney's.

Darwin remained the most expensive capital in which to buy petrol with a liter of unleaded costing 1.32 dollars (1.22 U.S. dollars) in the Top End.

Globally, crude prices were supported by expectations that the huge oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico could lead to delays in the delivery of crude oil in the United States.

"The oil slick on the Gulf of Mexico, which is causing some oil tanker traffic to be delayed to that region, should result in a draw down in stocks in Cushing in the U.S. and the (supply) report, " National Australian Bank energy economist Ben Westmore told AAP.

The U.S. Department of Energy, in its weekly report last Wednesday, said that crude reserves increased by 1.9 million barrels in the week ending April 23, far more than market expectations for a gain of about 800,000 barrels.

Cushing in Oklahoma was the major transit point connecting Gulf Coast oil to consumers in the northern United States.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland has ruled out sending labor to help in efforts to contain the slick but has suggested help could be offered in other ways.

An estimated 210,000 gallons (795,000 liters) of crude has been streaming each day from the wellhead below the Deepwater Horizon rig that sank on April 22, two days after a massive explosion that killed 11 workers.

U.S. President Barack Obama has laid the entire blame on energy giant BP and said the company will be paying the clean-up bill.



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