Nova Scotia

10-cent hike takes Nova Scotia gas prices to record high

The cost to fill a tank of gas in Nova Scotia hit a record high on Friday as the Russian invasion of Ukraine puts more pressure on oil prices.

Gas prices rose overnight to 166.6 cents per litre

The minimum price for a litre of regular self-serve gasoline jumped 10 cents to 166.6 on Friday. (Aly Thomson/CBC)

Update, March 4, 2022: The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board said Friday afternoon it will invoke the interrupter clause, meaning prices are expected to jump again at midnight. 

The cost to fill a tank of gas in Nova Scotia hit a record high on Friday as the Russian invasion of Ukraine puts more pressure on oil prices.

"We are already at all-time high prices for Canadian gasoline at the pumps and this is just putting it into the stratosphere," said Canadian commodities expert Rory Johnston the day before prices rose.

"If oil prices remain where they are right now, we could be talking about upwards of $2/litre within a couple of weeks."

On Thursday, the minimum price for a litre of regular self-serve gasoline was selling for 156.5 cents in Halifax. By Friday morning, that figure had jumped by more than 10 cents to 166.6. Diesel is now selling at a minimum of 183.7.

CBC reporter Robert Jones, who calculates prices for the network, said oil prices were low at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Demand came back so quickly, much quicker than expected. And suppliers didn't keep up, particularly in the U.S. shale patch," he said.

Gas prices in Halifax hit $1.66 per litre on Thursday, and are expected to rise again at midnight. (GasBuddy.com)

Earlier this week, the U.S. and its allies agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil from their reserves. Johnston said he thinks it will have an impact, but only for about 24 days.

In addition to rising gas prices, Johnston said there will also likely be a jump in furnace oil — possibly by 30 or 40 per cent.

He said the Russian invasion of Ukraine is adding uncertainty to the global oil market.

"I think the challenge is we don't know anything really about how how things are going to turn out between Russia and Ukraine," he said.

With files from Amy Smith

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