Pumped over prices



QUEENSLAND motorists are tipped to fork out more than $1.30 a litre at the bowser as crude oil prices skyrocket.

Independent fuel monitor FUELtrac's managing director Chris Kable said this week that exorbitant crude oil prices would push the price of unleaded fuel in Queensland to record highs as early as next week.

Mr Kable forecast that the $US70 a barrel record, trig- gered by supply fears in the US Gulf of Mexico due to Hurricane Katrina, would climb higher.

"(If) the crude price hits $US80 we could potentially be seeing prices in Brisbane in the high part of the cycle at $1.30 a litre," Mr Kable told ABC radio.

"And rural areas tend to be more expensive."

RACQ's most recent fuel reports show unleaded hov- ered at $1.03 a litre in Brisbane and at $1.19 in Weipa in far north Queensland in April.

Hurricane Katrina, which slammed into New Orleans earlier in the week, after ripping through the Gulf of Mexico, shut nearly all the region's oil production, more than 80 per cent of gas operations and forced eight refineries along the coast to shut. - AAP



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