Gas price may hit all-time high in Nova Scotia this week

Nova Scotia may be headed for an all-time high in the price of gas this week as drivers across the country deal with major gasoline price jumps.

All-time high in Halifax area is 145.4 cents per litre

Current gasoline prices in the Halifax area are just two cents shy of the record high reached two years ago. (CBC)

Nova Scotia may be headed for an all-time high in the price of gas this week as drivers across the country deal with major gasoline price jumps.

Regular unleaded gas in the Halifax area is selling for 143.3 cents per litre, while the price in Cape Breton is closer to 147 cents per litre.

That means prices in Halifax are just two cents shy of the record high reached two years ago — 145.4 cents per litre on April 6, 2012.

Dave Collins, the vice-president of Wilson Fuel Company, predicts the price will increase by a further few cents.

"We will probably peak out here in Halifax in the $1.50 range," he told CBC News on Wednesday.

"We'll look around in July and see prices at $1.35 and $1.38, somewhere around that level."

Collins said it's no coincidence gasoline prices fluctuate in April, because that's when refineries shut down for annual maintenance and therefore tighten the supply.

Typically, spring is also the time when refineries move from making a blend of gasoline tailored for cold weather driving, into a new blend targeted at summer driving.

"Every year around April-May, we have this switch-over from winter grade gasoline to summer grade gasoline. This year, the price difference was remarkably large," said Collins.

"It's sort of piled on all the events that are going on in Ukraine."

Refineries also make less petroleum products such as heating oil in the spring, and readjust production towards gasoline to keep up with demand during the busy summer driving season.

Collins said the unrest in Ukraine as well as an out-of-service pipeline in Iraq are creating fears and speculation about future supply. He expects that to continue to push up oil and gasoline prices in the short term.

The all-time high for the price of diesel in the Halifax area was reached earlier this year, when it hit 147.9 cents per litre on Jan. 31.

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