TORONTO – A leap in gas prices because of an attack on a Saudi oil refinery is expected to be temporary, a petroleum expert said Wednesday.
Gasoline prices in Toronto jumped roughly four cents overnight with some drivers paying as much as 118.9 cents a litre, while prices in Vancouver spiked as much as seven cents, with prices as high as 158.9 cents per litre, according to data from GasBuddy.com.
Gasoline prices typically start falling in September following the summer driving season, but rose after the attack over the weekend sent the price of U.S. crude oil surging 14 per cent, or more than US$8 a barrel higher. Prices cooled slightly after Saudi officials said oil production would be fully restored within weeks.
The attack on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil processing plant disrupted more than half of its daily exports, and was the worst disruption to global crude supplies on record. It also came just one day before Canadian retailers were set to make their seasonal switch to the cheaper winter blend of gasoline from the summer blend.
“It has definitely calmed down,” Allison Mac, a petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, told CTV News Channel. “Given oil prices have started to level off, and actually has gone down, the impact isn’t as dramatic as we had predicted it to be.”
Seeing that translate into pump prices will take a little longer, however.
“It will probably stay where it is, if not ticking up a couple more cents over the next week or two. I predict within four weeks it will go back to pre-attack levels,” Mac said.
-- With files from The Associated Press