'The days of under $1.40-a-litre gasoline are over': Lower Mainland gas prices set to jump

As of Monday, prices in Vancouver were sitting around the 148.9-cent mark.

Drivers could pay 10 cents more per litre

B.C. could see a jump in gas prices this week because a refinery in Burnaby is still undergoing maintenance. (The Associated Press)

Gas prices in the Lower Mainland could spike this week as a refinery in Burnaby continues to undergo maintenance.

As of Monday, prices in Vancouver were sitting around the 148.9-cent mark according to GasBuddy.com — already up about 10 cents from weekend numbers.

Dan McTeague, who watches Canadian prices for the site, said the jump is because the out-of-commission refinery is leading to a shortage in the region as well as on Vancouver Island.

"It's been closed for three weeks and it's likely to stay closed for another three to four weeks," he said.

"It's going to certainly harm and hurt consumers and it's going to be a bit of a sticker shock for most of them."

In the meantime. he said fuel from other refineries, including those in San Francisco, is being shipped to B.C. at a premium.

2018 could be an expensive year

McTeague says other factors are driving the price increase: low supply on the Pacific coast, increasing taxes and the low value of the Canadian dollar.

He says the climbing gasoline price could be the new normal "for the foreseeable future" in the Lower Mainland.

"If prices can reach anywhere near $1.50 for the month of February, then it doesn't bode well for summer when you in fact have the transition from winter gasoline to summer gasoline," he said. "The days of under $1.40-a-litre gasoline are over."

He says 2018 could see the most expensive gasoline since 2014.

With files from Michelle Ghoussoub

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