Varying southern Alberta gas prices have drivers travelling for deals

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Varying southern Alberta gas prices have drivers travelling for deals
WATCH: Many gas stations in Lethbridge did something on Wednesday they haven’t done for a while: lower their prices. Still, high gas prices remain a key contributor to soaring inflation, though there are some savings to be found depending on where you fill up. Erik Bay explains. – Jul 13, 2022

How far are you willing to travel to save some pennies at the pumps? It’s a question some southern Alberta drivers are considering.

As of Wednesday afternoon, gas at Vicky and Barin Beresford’s station in Granum, Alta. was 30 cents cheaper per litre than some spots in Lethbridge.

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They’re hearing a number of Lethbridge drivers are stopping to fill up instead of doing it in the city.

“We’re seeing a lot of business with the prices the way they are now,” Vicky said.

“It helps that we’re independent so we can set the price at where we feel is best for our customers.”

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Granum isn’t the only place where lower prices appear to have an impact.

In Claresholm, Alta., currently lists fuel at most stations at around $1.66 per litre.

According to social media posts this week, some stations there ran out of gas.

In Lethbridge, prices vary to a smaller degree.

GasBuddy has the UFA in the city at around $1.82 per litre, one of a handful of stations roughly seven cents less than most others in the city.

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According to a company official, that’s because while still an option for private vehicles with a gas card available to anyone, UFA operates mostly as a commercial card lock and adjusts prices more immediately based on the cost of acquiring fuel.

“When our price goes up, when rack (price) goes up, we move it up,” director of petroleum operations Steve Marshall said. “But at the same time, the very next day if it drops, we drop (the price) at the same time.”

One expert believes prices in Alberta will come down, but it won’t be until summer is past.

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“By the end of the year if things go well it wouldn’t surprise me to see gas prices at gas bars well under $1.50 a litre,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

As for the rest of travel season, the Beresfords say it’s hard to predict.

“Honestly, whatever the market bears,” said Barin. “That’s all I can say because the cost is literally changing every day. It’s up and down.”

Leaving drivers playing a guessing game on when and where to fill up the tank.

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