July 10, 2019 11:26 pm

Gas prices in Vancouver rose with land costs but full differentials unexplained: report

WATCH: With the constant rise of gas prices in B.C. and little hope of relief on the horizon, here is a brief look back to the gas wars of the 1980's and our journey to where we are now.

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A report analyzing gasoline prices in British Columbia says rising land costs and credit card processing fees may account for nearly the entire differential in retail margins observed between Vancouver and comparable areas up to the end of last year.

The report by Deetkten Group was posted online late Wednesday by the B.C. Utilities Commission, which is overseeing a public inquiry into sky-high gas prices in the province.

READ MORE: B.C. premier hints at court action for oil companies witholding info from gas price probe


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The consultant’s report says Vancouver’s gasoline retail margins, which are the difference between the wholesale price for fuel and the retail price less tax, “highly” correlates with local land values.

Credit card processing fees are applied as a percentage of a total transaction, meaning the fees will be higher in jurisdictions like Vancouver where prices at the pump are already high.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver gas prices fall more than 40 cents from record-breaking May highs

But even after those factors are taken into account, more than one cent per litre in the retail margins remains unexplained.

The report says transportation and regulatory costs may account for higher wholesale gasoline prices in B.C. cities, but even estimating those costs at their highest potential does not explain the full wholesale price differences.

WATCH: (Aired July 3) Big three gas companies refuse to release information to gas price inquiry

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