Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

Gas price spike hits Vancouver Island — and experts predict prices to rise even more

“We still could be talking about record prices…”

As the price of gas in the Comox Valley jumped overnight, experts are warning drivers this may be the beginning of a slow and steady rise at the pump throughout the next few months and into the summer.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy – an online company that offers real-time fuel prices at various stations across the country – said the increase is due to a perfect storm of events.

“A lot of it has to do with the cold weather from the last couple of weeks in Texas. Twenty per cent of refinery capacity shut down, and the price of oil has surged. Also, with improving COVID numbers, more Canadians and Americans are filling up at a much brisker pace (than a year ago),” he explained.

As of Tuesday (March 2), most prices at the pumps across the Comox Valley reached 144.9¢ – up about 10 cent from the previous day.

De Hann noted within the past year, the price of oil had lowered in addition to lower demands for fuel as fewer people travelled due to the pandemic. While the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is meeting shortly to discuss raising production, he said the situation at the pumps may not get better anytime soon.

“We still could be talking about record prices – $1.60 or $1.70/L wouldn’t be out of the question depending on how much production increases.”

He added as summer approaches, demand will likely increase at “a breakneck pace,” with production lagging behind. Because of the low demand last year, many Canadian oil companies had to lay off thousands of employees, which will add to a production lag as it will take time to bring companies back online to full capacity.

As of Wednesday morning, GasBuddy was reporting these as the most common pump prices at the following Vancouver Island locations:

  • Port Hardy $1.39.9
  • Campbell River $1.38.9
  • Courtenay $1.44.9
  • Parksville $1.38.9
  • Port Alberni $1.44.9
  • Ucluelet $1.45.9
  • Nanaimo $1.39.9
  • Ladysmith $1.38.9
  • Duncan $1.39.9
  • Mill Bay $1.39.9
  • Saanich $1.44.6
  • Sidney $1.44.9
  • Sooke $1.44.9

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RELATED: Higher gas prices led to higher January consumer prices in Canada

RELATED: Gas prices in parts of B.C. could reach $1.70 per litre by summer, analyst predicts

RELATED: Greater Victoria gas prices dip to lows not seen since February 2016



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