(Black press file photo)

Behind the pump: Multiple factors causing high gas prices in B.C.

This summer is shaping up to be a long and painful one at the gas pumps

This summer is shaping up to be a long and painful one at the gas pumps.

B.C. currently has the highest gas prices in North America. A recent poll by the Angus Reid Institute showed nine-in-ten drivers in B.C. have noticed a major increase in gas prices, and 59 per cent of residents feel the provincial government isn’t doing enough to address the issue.

Most importantly, 50 per cent of B.C. residents say rising gas prices are making it harder to afford basic necessities. One-in-three of those who have been affected by the rising prices say they have been driving less, and another quarter say they have been filling up less.

RELATED: Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

People are quick to point fingers in any direction to get to the heart of the issue. Some blame the carbon tax, while others blame oil companies for allegedly price gouging consumers for pure profit. The truth, according to a market snapshot released by the National Energy Board, is that there are multiple factors for B.C.’s high gas prices.

As per April 2019 statistics: in Vancouver, the price of crude oil is 51 cents per litre, 10 per cent below the national average. However, the cost of refining the crude oil in to gasoline is 52.1 cents per litre, roughly double the Canadian average refining margin.

The marketing margin for gasoline, the costs associated with selling it to consumers at the pump, is 10.5 cents per litre, approximately 69 percent higher than the Canadian average. Finally, taxes on gas were 53.9 cents per litre, approximately 21 percent higher than the Canadian average.

Another element of the issue is the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The pipeline currently provides B.C. with 28 thousand barrels a day of refined petroleum products. It also supplies the Parkland Refinery in Burnaby with around 50 thousand barrels a day of crude oil. Even if the expansion is completed, it may not result in lower gas prices.

On average, B.C. consumed 96 thousand barrels a day of gasoline in 2018. To feed the demand for refined petroleum products, B.C. has to get it not only from local refineries and Alberta, but also by barge from the United States, which inflates the price at the pump.

RELATED: Gas prices 101: Where B.C. drivers’ pretty pennies are going at the pump

Vancouver Island is not facing as steep of prices as Metro Vancouver, but the prices are having an impact.

Prices in Victoria vary between 157.9 at Costco and 161.9 downtown. In Duncan, gas is at 156.9, In Ladysmith, Nanaimo, and Parksville, the average cost is 153.9. Port Alberni is 156.9, Comox is 155.9, Campbell River is 152.9, Tofino is varied between 153.9 and 157.9, and Port Hardy is 167.9, the highest on Vancouver Island.

Prices are expected to continue rising throughout the summer.

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

Just Posted

Octopus art crawls into Colwood neighbourhood

Artist of knitted sleeves identifies herself on Instagram

Architect plans to revitalize Victoria ‘gateways,’ including Wellburns building

Wood-construction apartments planned for Scott, Wellburn’s buildings

Public tips lead to arrest in alleged random assault on Victoria bus

June 19 incident was recorded by onboard camera

Younger Canadians, men less likely to wear masks, according to Stats Canada

Immigrants, especially immigrant women, more likely to follow precautions

Metchosin to test tsunami notification on Thursday evening

Approximately 80 to 100 residents in tsunami-zone

VIDEO: Victoria’s Raging Grannies call for end to public funding of for-profit senior homes

Organizer says COVID-19 has made senior home issues more apparent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Most Read