(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

UPDATED: Injunction targets blockade on Pat Bay Highway

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

City of Langford rebrands, announces several projects

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

Pink Shirt Day uplifting for West Shore RCMP

Members of the West Shore RCMP have scheduled a variety of activities with students Feb. 26

No dogs allowed off-leash at Luxton Fairgrounds in Langford

New sign placed by Metchosin Farmers Institute on Wednesday, Feb. 19

Central Saanich Police prepared for afternoon shut-down of Highway 17

Sgt. Paul Brailey questions efficacy of protest

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day in Victoria

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

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

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Donations pour in for family who lost father, son in fatal crash on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Vancouver Island RCMP officer assaulted during traffic stop

On Feb. 21, a member of the Comox Valley RCMP was assaulted… Continue reading

Most Read