British Columbia

'More pain at the pumps': Gas prices climb in Metro Vancouver

The price per litre has climbed to $1.47 this week for most of Metro Vancouver and an analyst says he expects it to go higher still.
Gas prices climbed to $1.47 per litre in Metro Vancouver on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Stephanie Mercier/CBC)

Lower Mainland drivers may be experiencing a bit of sticker shock this week as prices at the pump have climbed to an average of $1.479 per litre in most areas Tuesday. 

"Vancouver has traditionally been subject to the highest prices for gasoline anywhere in North America and this certainly is the case today," said gas price analyst Dan McTeague. 

McTeague, of Gasbuddy.com, says a rise in prices is not the norm for this time of year. 

"This is an unusual January in that we rarely see prices move up. If anything, they move down," he said.

"But a combination of oil prices moving up several dollars a barrel, shortages in the U.S. West Coast where we draw in a lot of our gasoline supply ... all of these things are contributing to the much higher prices," McTeague said. 

McTeague says one of the contributing factors to high prices in the region is that we don't produce enough gasoline in our own backyard. 

"We have one small refinery, the Parkland Refinery over in Burnaby — 55,000 barrels a day, that's just not enough to meet the demands for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island to boot," he said. 

Summer could see even higher prices

McTeague says he expects prices to stay around $1.44 for the next few weeks before dropping mid-February to about $1.40.

But he is predicting that prices this summer could reach $1.50 or higher. 

"In the meantime, it's more pain at the pumps and I suspect that many people will be making that trip across the border into Blaine, [Wash.]."

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