What Hurricane Harvey will mean for Nova Scotia gas prices
A price increase of about 5 cents per litre seems likely, says gasbuddy.com's Dan McTeague
Nova Scotians can expect gas prices to increase in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, but likely not enough to trigger the Utility and Review Board's interrupter clause that would see a price adjustment ahead of the regularly scheduled change, says a gas price analyst.
Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst with gasbuddy.com, said the price of gas has already increased by about two to 2.5 cents per litre in unregulated markets in Canada. He said a further increase of two to three cents more is likely.
"If it goes much higher than that, as we know, there is the potential for using the disrupter clause," he said.
In Nova Scotia, the Utility and Review Board has traditionally resorted to using it for increases of at least six cents.
Since 2009, the board has only used the interrupter clause 10 times, with only four of those occasions being for price increases.
One side effect of Harvey is that it could result in gas shortages into September. McTeague said the area affected by Harvey supplies about 15 to 20 per cent of the gas produced in the U.S.
If the storm moves further east, it could affect production at refineries in places like Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas, and Lake Charles in Louisiana.
"Don't expect prices to drop as they normally would after the Labour Day long weekend," said McTeague.
"The timing of this is of course the last big demand period for gasoline, so we might get some more unexpected surprises. Brace for higher pump prices."