Gas prices in Victoria to get a seven-cent increase

Observer says B.C. drivers should expect prices per litre of around $1.40 or $1.45 all summer long

Gas prices are projected to shoot up this weekend, according to GasBuddy.com, so drivers in B.C. better fuel up now.

Analyst Dan McTeague said drivers in Victoria can expect a seven-cent increase while the Okanagan has seen a hike of five to 10 cents already.

“Kelowna was at $1.12, and they’re seeing $1.17,” said McTeague, because that region’s gas arrives from the midwest U.S.

McTeague predicted a one-cent rise per litre on Thursday, adding that many gas stations in Metro Vancouver are already seeing a three-cent-per-litre spike.

“My expectation of $1.40 will be easily exceeded,” said McTeague. “At the current $1.38.9, we’re at a 13-cent-per-litre retail margin. Tomorrow at this time, we’ll be paying $1.41.”

McTeague said it’s mostly due to disruptions in two refineries in Washington state: Phillips 66 in Ferndale and BP Cherry Point.

High prices could last till the beginning of April, but drivers shouldn’t expect much of a reprieve even then.

“On April 15, we switch from winter gasoline to summer gasoline, which means that refineries have to provide much more expensive fuel,” he said. Summer gas has different additives to reduce volatility in higher temperatures.

“We have the dubious distinctions of having the most expensive place to drive a car in North America,” said McTeague, noting the gas taxes in Translink-served areas.

He doesn’t expect prices to rise to $1.50 per litre the way they did in 2014, but does see $1.40 or $1.45 becoming the new normal over the summer.

“We’ll see a lot more volatility like this throughout the summer,” said McTeague. “Those are the highest prices we’ve seen since June or July 2015.”

 


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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