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Gas prices drop below $1 in Nova Scotia as Utility and Review Board invokes interrupter clause

The bigger impact of falling gas prices due to rising coronavirus fears
Gas price analyst and president of Canadians for Affordable Energy Dan McTeague explains the bigger impact behind falling gas prices and how it could affect Canada’s economy.

Gas prices in Nova Scotia have plummeted after the province’s Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) invoked its interrupter clause in the wake of significant shifts in the gasoline and diesel oil market.

For those looking to fill up at a Halifax-area pump on Wednesday, expect to see a price of 95.3 cents a litre, down from a price of 105.9 cents a litre last week.

In Cape Breton, the price of a litre of gas has fallen from $1.078 last week to 97.3 cents this week.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia gas prices to drop at midnight after significant market shifts

Residents of Lunenburg and Kings counties and parts of Annapolis County should expect to see a price of 95.9 cents per litre instead of $1.065.

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In Yarmouth, Digby, Shelburn and Queens counties, the price has dropped to 96.4 cents per litre, down from $1.069.

In Guysborough, Antigonish, Pictou and Colchester counties, the price of a litre of gas has dropped to 96.5 cents down from $1.07 the previous week.

The new minimum in Cumberland County is 96.5 cents a litre, also down from $1.07 per litre the previous week.

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The last time the price of a litre of gas dropped this low was more than three years ago, on Aug. 5, 2016, when the price hit 94.5 cents a litre.

The price of diesel also dropped on Wednesday to a price of 91.7 cents, down from $1.02 per litre last week.

On Tuesday, the NSUARB announced in a press release that it would invoke the interrupter clause at midnight.

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The interrupter clause is a tool that is supposed to be used to respond to sudden and significant spikes in petroleum product prices.

Essentially, it allows the board to interrupt the regularly scheduled weekly setting of prices on Friday to reset the price for the security of supply.

READ MORE: Plunging oil prices amid coronavirus fears slam Wall Street, TSX sinks to 14-month low

Prince Edward Island saw a six-cent-per-litre decrease on the price of gas, diesel and furnace oil on Tuesday.

The decrease is the result of the collapse of an oil supply cut agreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia, coupled with the uncertainty and less demand for oil amid the COVID-19 outbreak, according to petroleum analyst Roger McKnight.

The interrupter clause was last invoked on June 5, 2019.

— With files from Global News’ Graeme Benjamin