British Columbia

Vancouver gasoline price rising sharply

Gasoline prices are up more than a nickel from last week and could hit record levels this summer, one expert tells CBC News

Record levels at the pump forecast for the summer months

A warning of record high prices could arrive in April in metro Vancouver 2:12

The price of gasoline is on the rise and it could be at record highs by April, one expert tells CBC News.

The price has risen to about $1.34 per litre in Metro Vancouver, up more than six cents from one week ago, and it won’t stop there, says Roger McKnight, of En-Pro International Inc.

"What I'm predicting for the end of April is prices across the country will be up by 15 per cent," McKnight said Tuesday.

That would put Vancouver prices at more than $1.50 per litre.

The all-time price peaked at just under that level in the summer of 2008.

In 2011, the cost of gasoline started rising in February and hit a peak in May, but the steep climb this month is earlier than any year in the last decade, McKnight said.

Vancouver's price is always much higher than the average price across Canada, as well.

Making the price more volatile is the uncertain geopolitical situation with Iran, a major oil producer, and distribution changes in the U.S.

"But the real problem is a refinery implosion that we’ve had in the eastern part of the U.S., in the Philadelphia area, which has basically taken a million barrels of production out of the system," McKnight said.

McKnight said the fire last week at BP's Cherry Point refinery in Washington is also a factor in higher B.C. prices, because the plant – which contributes to Vancouver’s supply --  is producing less.