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Navigating Fuel Pricing Challenges in the NT

Fuel pricing is a topic of constant concern for residents in the Northern Territory and recent global events have sparked worries about potential price hikes.

The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflicts and political unrest in Eastern Europe have created an atmosphere of uncertainty, with predictions that oil prices might soar above $100 US dollars per barrel in the coming months. Simon Matthias, CEO of AANT, discussed these factors with Katie Woolf from Mix 104.9, shedding light on how these influences could impact NT residents at the pump and offer some practical solutions to help save on fuel expenses.  

“Two critical factors affecting fuel prices in the NT are the strength of the Australian dollar and geopolitical situations worldwide.” Simon stated. When the Australian dollar weakens, importing goods, including oil, becomes more expensive, which directly impacts fuel prices. The ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Eastern Europe add further pressure, making it essential for consumers to be vigilant about their fuel consumption and expenses.

“Amid the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) comprising of 13 oil producing countries, which control about 50% of the world’s market mostly based in the middle east, have decided to withhold around 1% of the world’s oil supply, which means there is less oil which is driving up the price.” Simon explained. 

The terminal gate price (TGP), which is the rate at which retailers purchase fuel, stands at approximately $1.83 for Unleaded 91. However, at the bowser in Darwin, it is around $2.02, and in Katherine, it's $2.30.  Diesel prices hover around $2.20 in Darwin and $2.50 in Katherine. While these prices have remained consistent for a few weeks, it’s a good idea to be vigilant, monitor changes and explore ways of saving; 

Tips for Consumers

Compare Prices: Utilise tools like the AANT app to compare fuel prices across different fuel stations in your area. This information allows you to make informed choices and find the most affordable option.

Become an AANT Member: Joining organisations like the Australian Automobile Association (AANT) can offer significant benefits. AANT members, can enjoy a 6-cent discount per litre at United fuel stations, providing substantial savings over time.

Drive Smart: Implement fuel-efficient driving habits, such as avoiding abrupt acceleration and deceleration. By reading traffic patterns and driving smoothly, you can optimise your fuel consumption and extend the mileage of each tank.

Consider Electric or Hybrid Vehicles: In the long term, transitioning to electric (EV) or hybrid vehicles can substantially reduce your reliance on traditional fuels. These vehicles are not only environmentally friendly but can also lead to considerable savings on fuel costs over time. 

Surprisingly fuel pricing has become even more of a major talking point in the Northern Territory this week. Due to a fierce price war which has unfolded amongst petrol stations in the Darwin area. Simon Matthias spoke with Adam Steer from ABC Darwin to explain the situation. "In mid-August, a new contender named Liberty entered the market, establishing its base in Stuart Park. It seems Liberty has entered the market with the strategy of offering discounted fuel to gain market share and make its presence known. This move has compelled neighbouring competitors to adjust their prices in response, resulting in a signficant price gap of 25 cents per litre."

As the battle of the boswers rages on,  Simon explained "enjoy it while it lasts".