Pumped up gas prices may dip slightly

Saul Bowman
September 3, 2017

It appears New Brunswickers are in store for a major jump in gas prices - perhaps by nine cents a litre by midnight tonight.

Prices already jumped almost 10 cents in some places since Harvey roared ashore in Texas a week ago.

Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, said gas shortages could become a reality for many parts of the United States next week.

"Gas prices are up in Winnipeg; on Friday, this North End station was at 107.9 cents a litre".

From around 1.08 earlier this week, local prices now range around 1.24 per litre of regular.

"The big issue? Shortages in the USA northeast". "To put that into perspective, that's about 10 to 20 per cent more than all the gas needs in Canada".

He also forecast a six-cent spike in gas prices in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, to $1.459 per litre.

This recent soar in gas prices is caused by the devastation to the Gulf Coast caused by Hurricane Harvey, which interrupted supplies to the East Coast.

Toronto's projected Saturday price represents a 22-cents-per-litre hike since last week, said McTeague. "There isn't a lot of spare wiggle room".

"Canadian prices rise faster & higher than anywhere else in the world signaling tight petroleum supply and market discipline: oligopoly", tweeted McTeague.

"Until we get engineers into the refineries to assess the damage it's all speculation", he said.

"We don't produce enough gasoline to allow even a small amount to be siphoned off or purchased by other parties south of the border, so they raise prices to ensure that gasoline prices wholesale are not attractive", he said.

"Some of the refineries in Canada are going through fall maintenance, and that means we just don't have any capacity".

"If you're driving with 75 litres and you're going to be travelling this weekend, the increase could be at least $7 or $8" extra to fill up, he said.

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