Gas, diesel prices skyrocket across Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is a long way from Texas, but the devastating storm that recently hit the state has caused the cost of gas and diesel to skyrocket.

Texas floods to blame as gas jumps 13 cents a litre, diesel increases 14 cents

Gas hikes meant people were lined up at Costco, the cheapest gas bar in St. John's, all day long yesterday. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Motorists in Newfoundland and Labrador are feeling the effects of Hurricane Harvey this morning at the pumps.

The maximum price of gas has jumped 13 cents per litre. People filling up on the Avalon Peninsula will pay $1.39 per litre for self-service. In southern Labrador, a litre of gas will set you back $1.55 a litre. 

Cars lined up at the Irving gas station hoping to catch one last fill-up before prices jumped. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Diesel-users aren't off the hook either, though the increase differs significantly depending on where in the province you live. 

It's up by four cents a litre on the island, but in Labrador it's jumped by almost 15 cents.

Furnace and stove oil are up by three-and-a-half cents a litre. 

Big jump expected

The Public Utilities Board, which sets the fuel prices, acknowledged that this week's increases are "beyond that typically experienced in a weekly price adjustment."

"These increases are due in part to extraordinary commodity market developments" which has affected market prices, according to a media release from the PUB. 

The soaring fuel prices are due to the shutdown of many oil-producing refineries in Texas, which was recently hit by one of the worst storms in decades. Some of those have started to reopen.

Prices should begin to gradually drop — possibly as early as next week, according to George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices. 

Long lines on eve of price hike

Gas price predictions sent drivers to gas stations on Wednesday in droves. 

Motorists hoping to fill up with gas at yesterday's prices were lined up all day at Costco on Stavanger Drive. According to employees, the first car showed up at 6:15 a.m.

The pumps don't even open until 6:30 a.m.

No ace? No problem. If people in St. John's were missing the crush of crowds yesterday, they could just head to Costco, the cheapest gas bar in town. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

"There's no Chase the Ace tonight so we figure we had to line up for something," said Mike Barrington. He'd been waiting in line for 15 minutes to fill up his Impala. Today, that will cost him nine bucks more.

A litre of regular gas at Costco was $1.16 a litre yesterday, significantly less than many other places in tow. Though it's ringing in at $1.29 a litre today, that's still a significant discount compared to may other gas bars.

People in Newfoundland and Labrador will be looking at that those prices wistfully today, as gas has jumped by 13 cents a litre. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

"The best move that the City of St. John's council ever made was giving Coscto the go-ahead to put these pumps in," said George Murphy, an analyst with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

He said Costco's cheaper fuel prices will only draw more customers as prices climb.

And that, he said, means all the other vendors will have no choice but to bring their prices back down.

With files from St. John's Morning Show