GasBuddy’s price tracking map shows the cost of gas at some pumps in Metro Vancouver Sept. 29 has hit a record high of $2.339 per litre. (GasBuddy/screenshot)

GasBuddy’s price tracking map shows the cost of gas at some pumps in Metro Vancouver Sept. 29 has hit a record high of $2.339 per litre. (GasBuddy/screenshot)

Metro Vancouver gas prices pass $2.39, breaking North American record: analyst

Expert predicts price could hit $2.42 per litre by Friday

The price of gas in Metro Vancouver is now the highest ever seen in North America, according to one petroleum analyst.

It sprung up to $2.399 per litre overnight Wednesday (Sept. 28). The previous North American record was also set in Vancouver back in June when the price hit nearly $2.37 per litre, Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, said.

And things may only get worse. Price predicting and tracking website Gas Wizard is forecasting another jump to $2.419 per litre by Friday.

Paul Pasco, a principal consultant with fuel analytics platform Kalibrate, told Black Press Media the region could see another five to 10 cent jump before Thanksgiving.

Things appear to be slightly better in Greater Victoria so far, with the highest price reported on tracking website GasBuddy Thursday morning at $2.299 per litre. There too though, Gas Wizard is predicting a jump to $2.419.

Elsewhere in the province, things are expected to remain just below the $2 per litre mark. Gas Wizard says by Friday both Kelowna and Kamloops drivers will see prices around $1.929 per litre. Those in Prince George are expected to pay even less at $1.899 per litre.

Pasco said much of the sudden rise in prices is due to refinery closures, about half of which he said are planned maintenance and the other half of which are due to unplanned incidents such as wildfires. The return to school and offices has also been pushing up demand, he added.

Prices are often higher in B.C. than in the rest of Canada because of the West Coast’s strict fuel blending requirements and the fact that it is the furthest point from the U.S. Gulf Coast central hub, Pasco explained.

Indeed, Gas Wizard shows prices are far more affordable in the rest of the country Thursday, despite overnight jumps seen everywhere. In Toronto, Gas Wizard says the highest price at the pump is $1.539 per litre. In Montreal it’s $1.689, in Calgary it’s $1.499, in Halifax it’s $1.525 and in Regina it’s $1.759.

Pasco said British Columbians may see some relief after the Thanksgiving weekend and leading up to Christmas as some refineries get back up and running.

“I’d love to see you guys (Metro Vancouverites) come back down to the $2 mark,” he said. After Christmas though, Pasco said prices are very likely to start rising again.

“If you see a good price, fill your tank,” he advised.

-With files from The Canadian Press

READ ALSO: ‘Hundreds of thousands’ waiting for medical imaging in B.C., radiologists say

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