Australia

'Fill up now': Fears Australian petrol prices will 'skyrocket' amid US-Iran tensions

The NRMA is urging Australians to "fill up". Source: AAP

The ongoing tit-for-tat between the US and Iran looks set to affect Australian motorists.

Australian motorists are being advised to "fill up now" as petrol prices could "skyrocket" next week due to rising US-Iran tensions.

On Wednesday, Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two US bases in Iraq in retaliation for the US killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike last week.

The tit-for-tat has sent US crude oil prices up around four per cent to $65 a barrel.

A handout released by Iranian state TV shows rockets apparently launched from Iran against the US-held bases in Iraq.
A handout released by Iranian state TV shows rockets apparently launched from Iran against the US-held bases in Iraq.
IRIB (Iran state TV)

NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury told SBS News Australians should brace themselves for a hike in petrol prices.

"Following this morning's attack, the likelihood is that we're going to feel it here at home and depending on what happens in the next 24 hours, it could get worse," Mr Khoury said.

"We're very concerned ... if there isn't a calming of the situation, if there isn't a de-escalation in the tension then there is a real possibility oil prices will continue to skyrocket as they did in October last year when there was the attack on the Saudi oil refinery."

Asked for his advice to Australian motorists, Mr Khoury said: "fill up now".

He said "particularly if you live in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne" as those cities are already experiencing relatively low petrol prices.

He said prices will likely "get worse before they get better".

Qassem Soleimani (centre) attends a meeting in Tehran, Iran on 18 September 2016.
Qassem Soleimani attends a meeting in Tehran, Iran in 2016.
AAP

"It is such a volatile sector. Obviously the Middle East has a huge influence on oil prices and it is the most volatile place in the world."

He said the situation also highlights how "Australia is exposed to these factors which cause prices to fluctuate so wildly".

The Pentagon said it was still "working on initial battle damage assessments" after bases at Ain al-Asad and Arbil in Iraq - which house US and coalition forces - were targeted by more than a dozen ballistic missiles.

There were no immediate reports on casualties. US President Donald Trump said the assessment was underway, but added on Twitter: "So far, so good".

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter that Tehran had "concluded proportionate measures in self-defence".

"We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression."

Additional reporting: AFP

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch