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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Missing Maple Ridge man’s car found in Harrison

Michael Denham has been missing since June 27

UFV grads of 2020 honoured in innovative ways

No convocation ceremony due to pandemic, but grads receive ‘celebration box’

Peak on the lower Fraser River expected to arrive Monday

Peak predicted for July 6, with flows decreasing from there: River Forecast Centre

Local property tax late penalties, deadlines different amid pandemic

Province also provides deferrment plan for those who qualify

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack 35-year-old woman located

The RCMP were asking for the public’s help to find woman not seen in months

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Victoria man dies after skydiving incident on Vancouver Island

34-year-old had made more than 1,000 jumps

BC Wildfire Service to conduct night vision trials for helicopters in South Okanagan

This technology could assist with future firefighting operations

Most Read