Drivers should prepare to pay up to $4 a litre for petrol, according to the Automobile Association.
Extreme market volatility pushed crude oil prices to nearly $US140 a barrel this week.
AA policy advisor Terry Collins said Europe has relied on Russian energy, but can’t any more, and global sanctions are halting supply.
“There’s a concern they can use it as an economic weapon by turning off the gas or coal or petrol supplies, so what Europe’s now deciding is to wean itself off that reliance on Russian energy.
“In the short term the US and other economies are putting sanctions on it, which means they can’t sell the product anyway.”
Even though New Zealand is not reliant on Russian oil, Collins said global shortages could push our pump prices to $4 a litre.
The economic impacts from rising petrol costs are much larger than most New Zealanders realise, he said.
Prices for petrochemical products are likely to rise quickly.
“So that’s our tyres, our plastic … our nylons, our synthetic ropes, our pharmaceuticals, our fertiliser that we use for foods.
“[There’s] a whole range of products that petrochemicals are used for. The price of every one of those products is going to go up as well.”
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