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Gas prices in Metro Vancouver break records, expected to continue rising

If you thought paying $1.80 a litre for gas in Metro Vancouver was high -- get ready to pay much more. The record-breaking prices we saw are not going away, and several things are conspiring to push those prices even higher. John Hua reports on what could be heading our way – Feb 14, 2022

Gas prices in Metro Vancouver soared to record-breaking highs this past weekend, and according to experts, there is no relief in sight.

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The price at local pumps climbed to $1.79.9 per litre on Sunday and hit $1.80.9 on Monday morning.

It could reach $1.82.9 by Wednesday, warned petroleum analyst Dan McTeague, as the price of crude oil reaches its highest point in seven years.

The price of oil per barrel, he noted, has jumped from US$75 to just over US$93.

“We’re also looking at a scenario where gasoline demand in the Pacific Northwest market has really shot up,” explained McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy.

“At the same time, there’s a transition to slightly different blends of fuel in the Oregon-Washington state market, so all three of those factors have combined … to push gasoline prices up.”

Read more: Canadian gas prices hit record high with no end in sight, experts say

British Columbia, Newfoundland and Quebec currently have the highest prices across Canada.

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In the country’s capital, prices currently sit above the national average at $1.56 per litre. In Toronto, gas is currently $1.60 per litre.

In Yukon, Whitehorse’s cost of fuel currently sits at $1.68 per litre and in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, gas is now $1.60 per litre.

In B.C., McTeague said he thinks the price at the pump “will hold” for a few days, but expects the cost of oil per barrel will soon rise to US$100, resulting in another round of price increases.

“All bets would be off in terms of price,” however, if Russia invades Ukraine, he added.

Russia is a major supplier of oil, and amidst high demand and low supply, some are concerned it could curtail shipments in response to sanctions imposed because of its clash with Ukraine.

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“We’ve already seen Russia slow down nation gas supply to Europe as Germany has taken its time to approve the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, so the thinking is the Russia could also potentially weaponize oil,” explained Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

“If Russia were to abstain from invading Ukraine that certainly would help some of the pressure.”

Read more: Gas prices expected to rise even further in GTA by next week: analyst

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Either way, McTeague said prices above $1.80 per litre will become “the new normal” in Vancouver, and likely reach $2 per litre, unless a global recession or new variant of COVID-19 collapses demand.

A federal carbon tax increase on April 1 will add about 2.3 cents per litre, he added, while the switch from winter to summer blends adds another four cents.

“Again, even without the big geopolitical issue of whether Russia will invade Ukraine or not, we still see a scenario where the world is short of oil supply,” he said.

with files from Irelyne Lavery

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