Metro Vancouver has a new title no motorist is happy about.
With the price at the pumps jumping up to 131.9/L, the region is the most expensive place to purchase fuel in North America. The price increase is catching many off guard considering the regular gas prices were $1.22.1/litre on February 27 and $1.15.8/litre on February 20.
“It makes no sense to me. It never has,” says one driver, Sandra Farell. “It varies from morning to evening.”
Even harder for some to fathom when the price of a barrel of crude oil was nearly double at $102 exactly one year ago and the price at the pumps was only slightly higher at $1.36.6/litre in Metro Vancouver.
“What’s happened is there’s a big tightness, a supply crimp in the Northwest and that’s leading to higher prices,” says senior petroleum analyst Dan McTeague from gasbuddy.com.
A year later, the price is down to $50.5 a barrel and gas prices still remain within a five cent margin.
“We’re not even into Spring yet,” another driver, Rick Spelling told Global News. “So what are we looking at? Record prices for the summer again? You know probably.”
Industry expert Dan McTeague with gasbuddy.com says the high cost of fuel is a result of physical disruptions south of the border. A refinery explosion and a labour strike in Los Angeles are among factors that are cutting the supply.
McTeague says “we’re very sensitive to what happens in the United States” and it doesn’t help that the “Canadian dollar has lost a bit of ground. We price all our gas on U.S. terms and of course, we have higher taxes here.”
WATCH: Dan McTeague of gasbuddy.com tells us how high prices could go
Gas companies are also blaming maintenance schedules and the transition from Winter to Summer gas as added burdens on the market.
McTeague says the physical disruptions in the United States and higher local taxes is what puts Metro Vancouver on the top of the price list.
He also says one penny of the cost is due to the large oil companies deciding to make their retail margins a bit larger.
McTeague’s tip? Buy your gasoline outside of Vancouver where they taxes are “much cheaper.”