International oil prices have risen by 78% in the last year.
US crude for February delivery settled up 8 cents at $US79.36 per barrel, compared with a close of $44.60 on 31 December, 2008. London Brent crude fell 10c on Thursday to settle at $US77.93.
However, prices are still below an all-time high of $US147.27 per barrel reached on 11 July, 2008. They later fell to below $US33 per barrel at the end of 2008.
Stockpiles of crude oil in the United States fell by 1.5 million barrels in the week to 25 December, 2009, due to winter demand.
BP says it is too early to say whether the price increase in the northern hemisphere will have any trickle-down effect for New Zealand.
The company says two biggest influences on domestic retail petrol prices are the cost of refined oil in Singapore and the exchange rate.
Domestic prices are currently $1.65.9 per litre for 91 octane, $1.72.9 per litre for 95 octane and $1.07.9 per litre for diesel.