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

In 2018, Vancouver is forecast to see the highest peak prices at $1.52 per litre

With demand for oil at an all-time-high globally, petroleum analysts say B.C. consumers should expect to see some of the highest prices they’ve ever seen at the pump this year.

In GasBuddy’s 2018 forecast report, it says “circumstances beyond Canada’s control,” such as a surging U.S. dollar versus a weaker loonie and the U.S.’s growing exports, will lead to premium prices across the country.

Other major factors include OPEC’s 2016 decision to cut oil production, according to GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst, Dan McTeague.

“That decision curbed excess supply and began soaking up brimming global inventories of crude oil, at the same time boosting oil prices, which was the major reason for OPEC’s decision,” he said in the report.

In B.C., where gas prices vary rather drastically within the province, Vancouver and Victoria are anticipated to see the highest costs of more than $1.38 per litre on average.

That doesn’t include an extra 1.2 to 8.5 cents per litre that will be added effective April 1, when carbon taxes increase to $35 per ton.

READ MORE: No carbon tax relief at the gas pumps

McTeague expects the Canadian average price for gasoline in 2018 to be $1.19 per litre – seeing reprieve in the winter and hitting record numbers in the summer. This will mark the highest yearly average since 2014.

While Vancouver is forecast to see the highest peak prices at $1.52 per litre, Winnipeg and Saskatoon should top out at $1.29. Meanwhile, the highest price forecast for Calgary is $1.33.

“We anticipate that consumers will see gas prices that will be higher than 2017, slightly lower than levels seen in 2014, with a yearly average of $1.19 per litre, the highest since 2014,” the report reads.

With fewer refineries, disruptions shock pump prices

For gasoline, a stable benchmark price for oil is only part of the story, GasBuddy warns.

Seasonal price differences, specifically during the changes in gas formulas from winter-to-summer and then summer-to-winter blends, are just the first of many factors influencing pump prices in both the U.S. and Canada.

Propelled by a stronger economy, and greater exports, demand for petroleum products continued to rise at record-setting levels in 2017, the report suggests, with November seeing the “strongest” consumer gasoline demand ever.

With ongoing demand, mixed with refinery capacity continuing to grow to meet the need, consumers will see shockwaves to the pumps when outages or disruption occur, such as natural disasters or fiscal policies and decisions from central banks.

“Such events are likely to happen again in 2018, creating temporary hotspots regionally.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Surrey business groups dig in heels on LRT

Mayor-elect Doug McCallum and his coalition aim to cancel LRT in favour of extending SkyTrain

New faces on Surrey council: Who they are and how they got here

The council includes seven of eight candidates who ran with Doug McCallum-led Safe Surrey Coalition

UPDATE: Missing Surrey girl, 15, located

Surrey RCMP sought help to locate Hailey McClelland

Surrey’s mayor-elect McCallum has big promises to keep

From estimated 337, 289 eligible voters in Surrey, 109,791 votes were cast for 32.5 per cent turnout

Dancing zombies expected in droves at Surrey’s ‘Thrill the World’ event

Michael Jackson’s iconic video inspires group-dance gatherings around the globe

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

Vancouver mayoral hopefuly admits defeat, congratulates winner Kennedy Stewart

Ken Sim of the Non-Partisan Association apologized for the time it took to acknowledge Stewart won

Mental fitness questioned of man charged in Chilliwack River Valley shooting

Peter Kampos told his lawyer ‘his dreams are being stolen and turned into drugs’ at Surrey Pre-trial

Fraser Valley mom stuck in Africa over adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran have been waiting four weeks to bring son home

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

Most Read