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Greater Trail regular gas prices jump 25 cents per litre overnight

Vancouver gas prices pass $2.39, breaking North American record: analyst
Residents are paying a lot more at Greater Trail gas pumps this week. (Jim Bailey photo)

The price of gas in Metro Vancouver is now the highest ever seen in North America, according to one petroleum analyst.

It sprang up to $2.399 per litre overnight on Wednesday, Sept. 28. The previous North American record was also set in Vancouver back in June when the price hit nearly $2.37 per litre, Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, said.

And things may only get worse. Price predicting and tracking website Gas Wizard is forecasting another jump to $2.419 per litre.

Paul Pasco, a principal consultant with fuel analytics platform Kalibrate, told Black Press Media the region could see another five to 10 cent jump before Thanksgiving.

In Greater Trail, regular gas prices jumped 25 cents per litre between Sept. 29 and Oct. 1. Gas prices increased from roughly $1.749 up to $1.999 per litre at most gas stations in Fruitvale, Montrose, Trail and Warfield, and were holding as of Monday, Oct. 3, while the price of diesel varied from $2.079 to $2.129.

Elsewhere in the province, things are expected to remain just below the $2 per litre mark. Gas Wizard says by Friday, Sept. 30 both Kelowna and Kamloops drivers will see prices around $1.929 per litre. Those in Prince George are expected to pay even less at $1.899 per litre.

Pasco said much of the sudden rise in prices is due to refinery closures, about half of which he said are planned maintenance and the other half of which are due to unplanned incidents such as wildfires. The return to school and offices has also been pushing up demand, he added.

Prices are often higher in B.C. than in the rest of Canada because of the West Coast’s strict fuel blending requirements and the fact that it is the furthest point from the U.S. Gulf Coast central hub, Pasco explained.

Indeed, Gas Wizard showed prices are far more affordable in the rest of the country last Thursday, despite overnight jumps seen everywhere. In Toronto, Gas Wizard says the highest price at the pump is $1.539 per litre. In Montreal it’s $1.689, in Calgary it’s $1.499, in Halifax it’s $1.525 and in Regina it’s $1.759.

Pasco said British Columbians may see some relief after the Thanksgiving weekend and leading up to Christmas as some refineries get back up and running.

“I’d love to see you guys (Metro Vancouverites) come back down to the $2 mark,” he said. After Christmas though, Pasco said prices are very likely to start rising again.

“If you see a good price, fill your tank,” he advised.

–With files from The Canadian Press