A combination of higher oil prices and a slight increase in fuel taxes that took effect January 1 left Norwegians facing record-high fuel prices at the pump on Monday. Norway already has among the highest petrol prices in the world, and now they’ve jumped again.
The market leader in pump prices (Circle K, formerly Statoil) was suggesting that its stations charge NOK 16.29 (USD 1.89/EUR 1.81) per liter for unleaded petrol on Monday, and NOK 15.25 for diesel. Financial news service E24 reported that was the highest level ever recorded.
It amounts to around USD 7.58 per gallon for petrol, and would have been much more than that if the Norwegian krone wasn’t still as weak as it is against the dollar. Monday’s exchange rate was around NOK 8.60 per USD 1, after being around NOK 6 for many years before oil prices collapsed in 2014. At that rate, when the krone was stronger, a gallon of unleaded gasoline would cost USD 10.86.
Fuel taxes were a major source of conflict during the recent state budget negotiations, with many political parties keen to raise them even higher to discourage driving for climate reasons. The conservative minority government coalition reluctantly proposed raising unleaded petrol prices by 15 øre a liter and flatly refused to negotiate any further increase. Overall rises in other taxes ended up tacking 34 øre on to a liter of unleaded, though, while oil prices have recovered from lows of less than USD 30 a barrel a year ago to UDS 56.75 a barrel as of Monday morning.