Gas prices were just under $1.50 a litre on Monday in Surrey at Highway 10 and 152 Street.

Gas price climb driven by refinery trouble

Near-record pump pain for Metro Vancouver motorists

Gas prices in Metro Vancouver are flirting with record levels but at least one industry observer doesn’t expect they’ll shoot too much higher.

The average regular gas price in Metro hit $1.495 per litre Tuesday, up about eight cents in the past week.

Petroleum analyst Jason Parent, a senior associate at the Kent Group, said supplies have tightened and prices are up partly in response to the unexpected shutdown of gasoline refining units at a Suncor refinery near Edmonton.

He said the outlook for the Lower Mainland depends in part on how long refining is disrupted at Suncor.

“It all depends on how long that lasts and how effectively suppliers are able to bring in alternate supply into that region,” Parent said. “Generally speaking, I wouldn’t expect it to get much higher.”

Gas prices typically jump in the spring as more drivers take to the roads, cutting into gasoline supplies and putting upward pressure on prices.

But Parent said the traditional seasonal spike happened earlier this year.

He said wholesale prices paid by retailers have already risen about 14 cents in the last couple of weeks.

“Retail prices up until the last couple of days haven’t really kept pace with that.”

Gas prices here are also influenced by the fact Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, which supplies much of Metro’s refined gasoline, is at capacity.

Parent said the pipeline may have allocated slightly more capacity recently to crude oil shipments, leaving less flexibility to move more gasoline in response to jumps in demand.

Motorists shouldn’t assume that they’re being ripped off just because gasoline prices are rising at a time that crude oil prices haven’t moved as much.

“Crude oil and refined gasoline are two different commodities with different supply and demand fundamentals,” Parent said. “Their prices can be moving in opposite directions at the same time for different reasons.”

Gas prices here hit a recent bottom of around $1.20 per litre in December, according to the website Gasbuddy.com.

Metro Vancouver gas prices haven’t been this lofty since the record highs of around $1.50 a litre in the summer of 2008, and prices now would be lower than at that time if not for increases since then in B.C.’s carbon tax or TransLink’s fuel tax.

 

Vancouver Historical Gas Price Charts Provided by GasBuddy.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mount Woodside bike trail planning underway

With this week’s Council approval, planning can begin

PHOTOS: Sts’Ailes students scale glaciers as part of mountain skills and wilderness program

‘It’s not just about taking kids hiking, it’s actually about connecting them to the land’

Chilliwack man who sexually assaulted young boys released from prison

Statutory release for Don Putt who Parole Board calls an ‘untreated sex offender’

Fraser Cascade superintendent announces retirement

Dr. Karen Nelson has worked for School District 78 for 29 years

Not over yet: Mixture of snow, freezing rain on way as winter storm tapers in Lower Mainland

Environment Canada releases weather alert for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Should winter tires be mandatory in the Lower Mainland?

ICBC dial-a-claims go up as winter storm takes toll

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Police arrest alleged known robber running down South Fraser wearing balaclava

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Most Read