Drivers across B.C. are no doubt keeping a close eye on the gas prices as tensions have risen between Alberta and B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Alberta’s NDP government served notice Tuesday of plans to introduce legislation that Premier Rachel Notley has said will give the province the power to reduce oil flows and likely prompt a spike in gas prices in B.C.
Motorists in Metro Vancouver currently pay more than $1.50 a litre for gas.
LISTEN: Alberta UCP Leader Jason Kenney calls for federal action on Trans Mountain dispute
Dan McTeague, an analyst with GasBuddy.com, gave Global News a look at what that disruption in oil flows could mean.
“If we do see a disruption in the Trans Mountain Pipeline, the existing pipeline, if Alberta decides to turn off the taps entirely, then you’re looking at a drop of at least 50 per cent of the fuel supplies – diesel, gasoline, and even oil to supply perhaps even a portion of the Parkland refineries output,” he says.
LISTEN: How will the B.C.-Alberta pipeline battle play out?
“To put it into perspective, Parkland probably provides about 25 to 30 per cent of all the fuel needs of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. The Trans Mountain provides about 50 per cent.”
McTeague says about 50 to 60 per cent of B.C.’s fuel needs would be affected.
The pipeline dispute between B.C., Alberta and the federal government heated up last weekend when Kinder Morgan Canada announced it was suspending work on the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion because of opposition and delays in B.C.
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B.C.’s Lower Mainland is supplied by the Burnaby Refinery, which is the end point of the Trans Mountain pipeline system.
“What would it mean? Shortages,” says McTeague. “You would obviously have a number of gas stations that would close down, they simply wouldn’t have enough supply. They’d probably have enough for a day or two. After that you’d probably see prices rising.”
“The effect at the pumps? If you could find gasoline, I think a starting point would be about $2 a litre and that’s building on the $151.9 that we’re paying today.”