‘A perfect storm’: Gas prices could hit $1.60 by April, expert says

Prices will shoot up to 155.7 cents a litre by end of week or early next week

If you think 154.9 cents a litre at the gas pump is painful, one expert has some bad news: the price could go even higher in the next week.

“This is the highest we’ve seen in four years and we’re likely to smash that number in the next week,” said Gas Buddy senior analyst Dan McTeague.

McTeague said a “perfect storm” of increased demand, a chronic shortage of gasoline – not helped by refineries shutting down for spring maintenance – and a weak Canadian dollar will keep pushing prices up to 155.7 cents a litre by early next week. The price hasn’t been that high since June 2014.

READ: B.C. gas prices to hit highest levels in years: GasBuddy forecast

“On April 1,” he went on, “we’ll see prices moving much higher because of the carbon price increasing 1.22 cents a litre and we will see the transition from winter to summer gasoline.

Summer gas is more expensive for refineries to produce so that it doesn’t evaporate like winter gas.

“That’s usually good for three to four cents litre,” McTeague said. “That could push us to the $1.60 range as early as the beginning of April if nothing else changes.”

“It looks like on average consumers are going to pay $500-700 more per year just to get around.”

McTeague said he had expected prices to dip with the Parkland refinery in Burnaby coming back on board, but there’s been no sign of that so far.

However: “It’s an older refinery and it looks like they may not be able to produce as much as they did in the past.”

The four-day closure of the Olympic pipeline, which carries gas from the BP Cherry Point refinery in Washington state, hasn’t helped. Nor will the temporary maintenance-related closure of the Cherry Point and Andover refineries.

“We can’t get out of it any way you look at it,” said McTeague. “Anytime we think we can get a break somewhere, the supply keeps tightening.”

BP is the main supplier of most jet fuel to YVR, he added, so flights could get more expensive.

Trans Mountain pipeline expansion ‘only solution’

McTeague dismissed any political behind-the-scene happenings as a factor in rising prices.

“It’s economics 101. If you don’t build the Kinder Morgan, get used to $1.60 or more per litre of gasoline, regardless of the politics of it.”

Twinning the existing Trans Mountain pipeline would allow one half to specifically carry oil, as well as allow more gasoline, diesel and jet fuel to come in altogether.

McTeague, who has long pointed to B.C.’s dependence on Washington oil as a cause of its gas price woes, said the anti-pipeline protests could have more consequences down the road.

“If an approved pipeline is meeting with this kind of resistance, no one in their right minds is going to invest in putting in a refinery.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

BREAKING: Cloverdale McDonald’s employee tests positive for COVID-19

McDonald’s Canada immediately shut down the restaurant

Surrey kids get cooking during free SuperChefs camps pushed online by pandemic

‘Enthusiastic’ launch of program, which sees ingredient pickup at one local school

Southridge students raise $5,600 for hospital meal program

GoFundMe campaign funds two months of meals at Peace Arch Hospital

Court awards woman $143K for two Whalley rear-ender crashes, one by a bus

In both cases, Brigitte Bergeron’s vehicle was hit from behind while stopped at an intersection

Surrey RCMP searching for missing woman last seen in Crescent Beach

Milcah Kasomali-Chirumbwana last seen at 4:35 p.m. July 5 in the 12300-block of Beecher Street

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Abbotsford school vice-principal accused of getting Instagram ‘confessions’ page shut down

@A.S.S.S.Confessions page claims school officials contacted families to find out person behind page

Recreational chinook openings leave First Nations frustrated on the Lower Fraser

Limited recreational openings for chinook on the Chehalis and Chilliwack rivers being questioned

Most Read