The price at the pump is likely to keep creeping up.
The average gas price in Moose Jaw as of Tuesday morning is 139.2 cents per litre. The average price in Saskatchewan is up 3.6 cents per litre from last week’s provincial average of 134.1 cents per litre, currently sitting at 137.7 cents per litre.
Patrick De Haan, petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, said that refinery issues down south are having an impact. “We have seen some refinery issues down in the US Midwest really impact gasoline supply throughout much of the Midwestern US and southern Prairies in Canada as well.”
He added that the largest refinery in the US Midwest has been down since February 1st and isn’t producing its regular 38 million litres of gasoline every day. “That’s been a major loss that has driven up the wholesale price of gasoline.”
The picture is not set to improve, with other refineries starting their routine maintenance towards mid to late February. “Combined with the fact that we generally start to see demand going back up as temperatures start warming back up in March, and we begin the changeover to more expensive summer gasoline in just a couple of weeks – all of that is going to culminate in gas prices that likely continue slowly rising.”
Crude oil was sitting at $77 per barrel Tuesday morning, and De Haan says that, for now, Red Sea attacks by Houthis are not impacting prices as they had in October and November. “That is something that could suddenly change at a moment’s notice, and something that we continue to monitor.”
De Haan said that the price at the pump could increase above $1.40/litre in the next couple of weeks, with the potential to be 20 to 40 cents more expensive per litre by the May long weekend. “Unfortunately, not a whole lot of great news, but we’re also not expecting record prices, either.”