Jump at pump in Sask. due to U.S. pressures

Consumers in Saskatchewan have been dealing with a bit of sticker shock at the gas pump as prices soar to levels not seen since the Fort McMurray fires in June 2016.

Analyst says drivers here at the mercy of Chicago markets

Gas prices have been soaring at the pumps in Saskatchewan to levels not seen since June, 2016. (Grant Linton/CBC)

Consumers in Saskatchewan have been dealing with a bit of sticker shock at the gas pump as prices soar to levels not seen since the Fort McMurray fires in June 2016.

The demand for oil products is going to continue.- Dan McTeague 

So, if you are not on "E" the best advice is to keep on driving.

"I think the longer you can hold out, or buy a little less, the more likely that you are going to save one, two, or three pennies," said Dan McTeague, a senior analyst with GasBuddy.com.

Gas prices, McTeague said, are being driven up by a ruptured pipeline in the U.S., and by two Midwest American refineries that have been shut down for maintenance.  

"All gasoline in Western Canada is priced, whether we like it or not, on what happens to the Chicago spot market for gasoline," he said.

Despite all that, McTeague said, drivers should watch for prices to drop a little in the coming weeks and into next month offering a slight, and perhaps brief respite.

GasBuddy.com is suggesting that consumers could see higher prices at the pumps again in the New Year as oil producers work to draw down oil surpluses and demand continues to grow. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)

High prices on the horizon 

The problem, as McTeague sees it, is the year ahead. OPEC, and other non-OPEC oil producing countries seem to be again controlling the supply and are drawing down surplus oil.

"Crude has picked up significant strength as of late," said McTeague, adding that "the Canadian dollar has not really moved in tandem."

"The demand for oil products is going to continue to increase despite efficiencies, renewables and the brave new world of green energy."

High demand, higher crude prices, plus the arrival of a new federal carbon tax are all factors that could push gas prices up at the pumps in the New Year, McTeague said.  

About the Author

Danny Kerslake

Danny Kerslake is an award-winning journalist who has worked in radio stations across Western Canada. In his career with CBC Saskatchewan, Danny has reported from every corner of the province and has lived and worked in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. Danny is a newsreader and digital AP for CBC Saskatoon.