Lethbridge gas prices jump as demand begins to shift

Click to play video 'Gas prices in Alberta jump as demand shifts amid COVID-19' Gas prices in Alberta jump as demand shifts amid COVID-19
WATCH: COVID-19 has limited the amount of drivers on the road – in turn, forcing a reduction in price. However, the cost of gasoline has seen a jump in the province in the last couple of days. Eloise Therien explains why the cost is changing, and why areas like Lethbridge are still seeing higher costs than other cities. – Apr 30, 2020

After the price of gas in Alberta plummeted in March due to a severe decrease in demand brought on by COVID-19 travel restrictions, lack of work and economic uncertainty, the cost of fuel is once again on the rise.

The question is: Why now?

According to Kelly Klimchuk, director of sales at Gas King Oil Co. in Lethbridge, Alberta, the price jump has something to do with the outlook from refineries.

“We anticipate that the refineries are trying to recoup some margin that they’ve been giving the last several weeks,” he said.

“We also presume that they are looking forward to some of the restrictions being lifted and that demand will increase along with that.”

READ MORE: Oil and beef: Expert says Alberta must diversify as major industries hit by COVID-19

Story continues below advertisement

Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, says it’s important to understand the relationship between oil and gas in Alberta before jumping to conclusions about pricing.

“Refineries are very nimble. They see the decrease in demand so they cut back their production,” he said.

“That also means that they stop buying oil and that’s the reason why we have a lot of oil, and why oil prices have plummeted. Oilmen do not have the luxury of cutting back production.”

READ MORE: NDP demands inquiry into Alberta meat plant COVID-19 protocols as Cargill plans reopening

In Lethbridge, drivers may be used to seeing gas prices lower than those in Calgary, due in-part to its geographical location. 

Most stations in the city increased prices to 84.9 cents per litre, up from 69.9 on Wednesday morning.

Click to play video 'Alberta oilsands struggling as Western Canadian Select plunges to $5 per barrel' Alberta oilsands struggling as Western Canadian Select plunges to $5 per barrel
Alberta oilsands struggling as Western Canadian Select plunges to $5 per barrel – Apr 1, 2020

Lethbridge residents seemed relatively unfazed by the increase, saying it’s still nice to be able to fuel up for more than 30 cents lower than this time last year.

Story continues below advertisement

According to, the average price in Alberta was 76.0 cents per litre by Wednesday afternoon, down 7.6 cents.

Nova Scotia currently has the cheapest gasoline in Canada, averaging 67.7 cents per litre.