CALGARY – Drivers in Calgary got a welcome surprise at the pumps Tuesday, as gas prices fell below 70 cents for the first time in seven years.
Gasbuddy.com reported prices in Calgary as low as $0.679 per litre.
According to the site, the last time gas fell below 70 cents per litre was Dec. 23, 2008 when West Texas Intermediate plummeted to $30.28 per barrel.
“All of the gasoline that we price, whether it is from British Columbia all the way to Thunder Bay, Ont. and everything in between, is based on what happens in the Chicago markets, and the upper U.S. Midwest refinery picture has been very poor over the past year,” petroleum analyst Dan McTeague said. “Demand has gone up and refiners there have not been able to adequately supply the market; they’ve been falling behind. That ended around Christmastime, and now they’re really catching up.”
McTeague said “the economics for crude are pretty simple.”
“There’s plenty of it, too much of it, no real demand; whereas gasoline is more of a finite market. It’s like comparing the cost of a new home versus the cost of lumber: yeah, you need one to build the other, but the total cost for the other is far greater.”
He said not only have Albertans and Canadians lost a lot of economic opportunity (jobs, investments) with a dramatic decline in crude oil, we’ve also seen the loonie take a hit.
“The crude story is not a good one for Canada on a whole, and certainly not for motorists—although they’re very happy we’re now below 70 cents a litre and could go even further—the fact is we would’ve been here long ago if crude had not dropped as dramatically as it did.”
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