Nfld. & Labrador

N.L. gas prices to skyrocket Friday, say multiple gas station owners

CBC News has learned the maximum price of gas in Newfoundland and Labrador will skyrocket by about 15 cents per litre on Friday, according to multiple gas stations.

Record price jump comes day after gas rose 4.5 cents

Multiple gas stations have told CBC News that fuel prices across Newfoundland and Labrador will jump significantly Friday. There was a lineup at this gas station in Labrador City on Thursday afternoon, where gas prices will be among the highest in the province on Friday. (Darryl Dinn/CBC)

The price of gas in Newfoundland and Labrador will jump about 15 cents per litre Friday morning, multiple gas station owners have told CBC News.

The significant and unexpected increase means gas on the Avalon Peninsula will cost about $1.92 cents per litre, and even more in other parts of the province.

The maximum price of gas will be about $1.95 a litre in central Newfoundland and more than $2 in western Labrador.

Those prices are all record highs.

With prices having already gone up by 4.5 cents per litre on Thursday, gas in Newfoundland and Labrador will have increased by about 19.5 cents per litre in 24 hours.

The Public Utilities Board normally sets fuel prices each Thursday but has the power to respond to major shifts in the market, and change prices accordingly.

"Such interventions are extremely rare," reads the PUB website. "The intervention adjustment was last used in March 2020 in response to market volatility at that time."

Long lines were seen Thursday afternoon at gas stations in some parts of the province, including Labrador and central Newfoundland, after CBC News reported the impending increase. Traffic was backed up from the Costco gas station in St. John's to nearby Mount Pearl as drivers attempted to fill their tanks before the new price took effect.

CBC News has not yet confirmed whether furnace oil will also increase on Friday.

Russia's invasion partly to blame

Dan McTeague, the president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, told CBC News on Wednesday people should brace themselves for a "tsunami" of price increases.

He said a shortage of oil is partly to blame for the drastic price increase, but Russia's attack on Ukraine has added to that.

"It's a bad situation, but the war has made a bad situation that much worse," he said.

CBC New Brunswick reporter Bob Jones, an expert in energy prices, noted that as a major producer of oil, Russia is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and exports refined petroleum products to the United States.

Jones said consumers will now begin to feel the impact of high oil prices, which rose earlier this week in response to the invasion.

"Every once in a while there's a big global event that really sends petroleum markets roiling, and we're in the middle of that right now," Jones said.

He said trading was more subdued on Thursday relative to earlier in the week, and prices may begin going down over the next few days.

Long lines were seen at gas stations across the province, like this one in Gander, as news of the price increase spread. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

Progressive Conservative finance critic Tony Wakeham said he's concerned about the effect rising prices will have on seniors and people living on a fixed income.

He acknowledged Russia's invasion of Ukraine has played a major role in the latest increase but called on the provincial government to reduce the 14.5-cents-per-litre tax on gasoline.

"We all know that this is a national issue, this is an international issue. But at the same time, government does have levers that it can pull to help the people of our province."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Anthony Germain, Peter Cowan and Robert Jones