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Opal
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Petrol sniffing is a serious issue for many remote Indigenous communities around Australia, resulting in death and permanent disability, particularly amongst young people
Previously, BP was selling a fuel known as Comgas (a re-brand of Avgas), which was found to be useful in mitigating petrol sniffing. Comgas had very low levels of aromatics, which are what give the ‘high’ when sniffed. However, Comgas contained lead and was therefore not viewed as a sustainable solution by BP.

BP began to investigate whether an entirely new fuel option could be developed. Refinery staff from BP’s Kwinana Refinery developed a new unleaded fuel that met the specification of being both low in aromatics to discourage people sniffing, and suitable for use in motor vehicles and two-stroke engines requiring unleaded fuel.
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What is Opal?
Thus Opal was introduced as an improvement to Comgas by removing the lead content and maintaining the same deterrent aspect. This means Opal is less harmful when sniffed and because it is unleaded, better for the environment. By removing the lead component, there are no corrosive products to damage engines and exhaust systems, meaning it is also better for engines.

This means Opal is less harmful when sniffed and because it is unleaded, better for the environment. By removing the lead component, there are no corrosive products to damage engines and exhaust systems, meaning it is also better for engines.

The resulting product was subjected to stringent performance, environmental, and toxicological assessment, before being released to the market. The first of its kind in the marketplace, Opal has been available in some communities since January 2005.

BP is continuing to act with the Federal Government and community groups to address petrol sniffing, as it is only one part of the solution to petrol sniffing. Anecdotal reports suggest that Opal has either lessened or significantly reduced petrol sniffing. BP is working alongside the Federal Government, who have funded an independent evaluation to check the impact of Opal on communities over time.
Further information:
Name: BP Fuels Technical Helpline
8:30 am to 5pm EST

Phone : 1300 139 700
Technical Information
View the material safety data sheet for Opal
Related downloads
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Download specific information on Opal and BP's fuel guarantees
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