BP hits New Zealand with 6c per litre price hike

The global oil crisis has hit New Zealand with BP hiking fuel prices by 6c per litre on Tuesday.

In a statement, the energy giant blamed the rise on the drone strikes on Saudi Arabia oil production facilities over the weekend.

"There has been a sharp increase in the barrel price. This has happened alongside a weakening of the New Zealand dollar," BP communications and external affairs manager Leigh Taylor told Newshub.

"The barrel price and exchange rate are two of the more significant contributors to the price of our fuel in New Zealand, and as a result there has been a 6cpl increase in prices on all products at BP Connect sites across the country today.

"We are acutely aware of the impact of rising fuel prices on consumers and will continue to review BP Connect prices every day to ensure our pricing is as competitive as possible."

Taylor said they do not expect any impact on retail fuel availability at this stage.

This has been followed by Z Energy, which has lifted its pump prices by 6 cents per litre today as well. 

However rival company Gull has committed to not increasing prices at its company-controlled outlets before the end of the working week, giving Kiwi motorists three more days to take advantage of petrol prices before they go up.

"We will monitor the situation daily," general manager Dave Bodger says.

"We appreciate that any price increase is a major blow for Kiwi motorists, and we will minimise and delay this as much as possible."

Economists warn these price increases could just be the beginning, and massive price hikes could be on the cards.

Kiwi economist Cameron Bagrie says a worst-case scenario would see prices skyrocket to $3 a litre

"Saudi Arabia in regards to the oil industry around the globe is about as strategically important as Beaden Barrett is to the All Blacks or Steve Smith is to the Australian cricket team," he told the AM Show on Monday.

"It really matters. Saudi Arabia's 10 percent of global production... we're going to see oil prices move up sharply over the next couple of days."

US officials have blamed Iran for the weekend's drone strikes, but Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has laid the blame with a Yemeni group.