April 24, 2014 12:37 pm

Edmonton gas price jumps, but worse in other cities

EDMONTON – The recent jump at the pumps is fueling anger for many Edmonton drivers.

“It’s not fair. It’s not right,” said Walter Dutkowski, who admitted to not buying as much gas these days as he used to.

Taxi drivers, like Tarun Kanwar, have no choice but to fill up. And they’re seeing the effects on their bottom line.

“It’s a very tough and risky business right now,” Kanwar said.

“Yesterday I just put $40 in, and a couple of days ago when the price was down I only had to put in $20 or $25 bucks…it makes a big difference to me.”

The price of gas at most stations around the city has climbed to $1.25 a litre — the highest it’s been all year.

Still, it could be worse — Edmonton actually has the lowest average gas price out of any major city in the country.

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In Montreal, consumers are paying around $1.51 per litre. It’s slightly higher in Vancouver, with the price sitting at around $1.52.

READ MORE: What’s behind the recent surge in gas prices?

As for why the prices are so high, there are a few reasons industry analysts are pointing to, including fewer refineries in Canada compared to the number the country had a few decades ago.

“It has to do with the fact there is a very serious and distinct lack of among refineries in Canada. It’s not price-fixing, it’s not collusion, it’s that you have no one left to collude with,” explained Dan McTeague with tomorrowsgaspricetoday.com.

The dropping Canadian dollar and rising price of oil is also determining the jump in gas prices, according to analysts.

They add that refiners could increase production which should lead to a drop in price.

“What’s happening right now is you’ve got a huge inventory of oil, and you have a very low inventory of refined products,” said Angus Watt with National Bank Financial.

“The price of gasoline will probably, I would like to think, it’s not going to move any higher. It’ll probably move a little bit lower. But we’re talking like a dime. We’re not talking 20 cents or 50 cents.”

According to Global Edmonton’s archives, the highest price posted at the pumps in Edmonton appears to have been in  September 2008, when a Safeway gas station was selling fuel for a $1.59 a litre. It only lasted a few minutes before dropping to a $1.39. The reason for the high price then was a gas shortage caused by Hurricane Ike.

With files from Fletcher Kent and Patricia Kozicka, Global News

© Shaw Media, 2014

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