Gas pains: Summer fuel prices may reach 10-year high, warns analyst
Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Wednesday, April 11, 2018 8:52AM EDT
Canadians should expect gas prices to surge to a 10-year high this summer as a more expensive blend of fuel reaches the pumps and supply remains tight in British Columbia, according to a prominent petroleum industry analyst.
“The prices for fuel have nowhere to go but up,” Dan McTeague of the online tech company GasBuddy told CTV Ottawa on Tuesday. “It looks like we’re heading towards a very expensive summer. Likely the most expensive we’ve seen in about a decade.”
B.C. drivers have felt the most pain at the pumps recently, with the price of regular gasoline currently hovering at an average of $1.35 per litre, according to the latest figures from GasBuddy. Prices in that province brushed against record highs above $1.50 per litre earlier this month.
The B.C. government is clashing with neighbouring Alberta over the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. On Tuesday, the Alberta government served notice of plans to introduce legislation that Premier Rachel Notley has said will give the province the power to reduce oil flows, and likely prompt a spike in gas prices in B.C.
Gas prices in Newfoundland and Labrador are currently the second most expensive at $1.33 per litre, followed by Quebec ($1.29) and Ontario ($1.25).
McTeague has said a chillier spring across much of the country has temporarily frozen gas prices, but he expects anticipation of warmer weather will change that.
“The four-cent-a-litre increase has everything to do with the switch from winter to summer gasoline,” he said. “It costs refiners a lot more to add certain additives into the fuel mix to make sure that it doesn’t evaporate under warmer conditions.”
Ottawa driver Kelly Griffiths said she is already fed up with the drain on her wallet.
“I don’t imagine anyone you talk to is going to be really happy when we are already paying $1.29,” she said.
Shawn Fields of Myers Cadillac Chev Buick GMC in Ottawa said he expects higher gas prices will fuel more interest in green vehicles.
“We’ve seen exponential increases over the last few years,” he said. “I’m sure electrics are going to be the way things are going.”
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Claudia Cautillo and a file from The Canadian Press