Gas price drop has P.E.I. customers filling up

P.E.I. drivers are filling their tanks while the price of gas is low. But the Island's gas-price regulator says prices may stay where they are, or go even lower.

Price per litre on P.E.I. has dropped 20 cents in six weeks

Gas prices decreased by 3.1 cents per litre Wednesday. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Morgan Doyle had a busy day Wednesday pumping gas for customers at the service station on Charlottetown's University Avenue.

All day, people were filling their tanks after the Island regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC) unexpectedly dropped the price of gas yet again, this time by 3.1 cents per litre. Furnace oil dropped by 6.5  cents per litre, and diesel dropped 5.6 cents. 

"It's quite busier," said Doyle, as another customer rolled down the window to request a fill.

Crude pricing might fall even further, then that could result in some additional reductions.— Allison MacEwen, IRAC

"Normal day would be a couple of cars in, but there've been three or four cars every hour."

'Time to go get it'

Self-serve pumps were busy with customers too. 

David Burt filled his tank after reading of the price drop. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

"I read where the gas prices were going down, so I figured it's time to go get it before it starts going back up again," said customers David Burt. 

"I'm glad it's down right now because it makes a big difference if it's really high," said Marie Pagan.

Wednesday's price drop was the third time IRAC has unexpectedly dropped the price of petroleum products.

The commission says the move reflects continuing trends in eastern North America.

A lack of hurricane damage this fall means east coast refineries are working at full capacity for a change. That, and the falling price of crude on world market, has supply depots full.

"I'm glad it's down right now," said Marie Pangan. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

IRAC said supplies are 15 per cent above the five-year average. 

Demand traditionally declines in this part of the world as winter sets in and people drive less. IRAC said prices may stay where they are, or decline even more.

"Barring any supply interruptions, we should see stability of pricing for the foreseeable future," said Allison MacEwen, director of regulatory affairs with IRAC.

"Add to that the dynamic that perhaps crude pricing might fall even further, then that could result in some additional reductions going forward."

The next scheduled price change is December 1.

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About the Author

Brian Higgins holds an honours Bachelor of Science degree in biology, as well as a Master of Arts degree in journalism. As a videojournalist, he currently reports for TV, radio and on Prince Edward Island with emphasis on courts and judicial issues.