Petrol sniffing is a significant health and social issue in some areas and remote communities

In some areas and several remote communities in central and northern Australia the sale and trade of normal petrol has been totally banned to kerb the problem. 

But many motorists travelling in these areas are reliant on petrol and are likely to encounter a special fuel called OPAL, which has been developed to reduce ‘sniffing’.

It can be found under various fuel company brands in selected communities, including major centres such as Alice Springs and Tennant Creek.

OPAL fuel:

  • Is a low aromatic unleaded petrol that is unsatisfactory for sniffing, as it doesn’t produce the desired ‘high’. 
  • Has a different smell and appearance to normal ULP.
  • Is the least toxic fuel in terms of chronic exposure.
  • Exceeds all national standards for regular ULP (91 RON) and can be used in all regular ULP automotive applications including two and four-stroke engines.
  • Can be used in outboards. 
  • Provides similar performance, a negligible increase in fuel consumption and similar or slightly reduced exhaust emissions compared to normal ULP. 
  • Can be safely mixed with regular ULP
  • Is not detrimental to fuel system components
OPAL fuel should not be used in applications that require PULP and it isn’t suitable for aviation use. 

Further technical information about OPAL fuel is available from BP Australia:

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