Pump the brakes: What’s with Calgary’s inconsistent gas prices?

Click to play video: 'Wildly fluctuating fuel prices in Calgary to get worse'
Wildly fluctuating fuel prices in Calgary to get worse
While many Calgary drivers are questioning the wildly fluctuating fuel prices across Calgary, energy experts say it’s about to get worse Tomasia DaSilva reports. – Jan 18, 2023

If your gas tank is running low, you might want to avoid your usual spot to fill up and take a look around before you hit the pump.

Fuel prices across the city of Calgary saw wild fluctuations on Wednesday, with some stations selling regular gasoline for as low as $1.16 per litre and others as high as $1.34.

So what’s with the discrepancy?

“It’s all a money grab by everybody. The government and oil companies,” driver Gerry Kievit alleged.

But is the fluctuation really a money grab or a legitimate price hike? Energy experts say it’s the latter.

Kalibrate analyst Paul Pasco said wholesale prices of fuel are on the upswing, and when gas stations have to restock on the more expensive fuel is when customers will see the price jump at the pump.

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“It’s just that (some stations) haven’t taken delivery of the more expensive fuel — wholesale fuel — so once they take the extra delivery, when you see the big truck there, prices will go up immediately following that,” Pasco said.

“We were really lucky over the Christmas period — crude prices were down, travel was down, demand was down — so we got to see some low prices.”

So why are prices going up?

Pasco said there are a lot of factors, including a rise in both price and demand for crude oil all the while Russian shipments of oil and overall refinery supplies are on the decline.

And Pasco doesn’t think the price at the pump will go down anytime soon.

“Starting in May we’re probably going to see a substantial creep,” he said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if June and July broke the records of last summer.”

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