Gas prices on the rise in Saskatchewan due to Hurricane Harvey

Laura Christensen
September 3, 2017

On Friday morning, GasBuddy posted prices of $1.10 a litre in Ottawa, less than $1.08 a litre in Toronto and less than 97 cents a litre in Calgary.

Drivers can expect to see much higher prices at the pumps this Labour Day weekend. The Ontario average is 1.20. Prices had jumped to as much as $1.09.9 per litre by Thursday afternoon in both cities.

"The big issue? Shortages in the US northeast".

The online gas price monitoring site essencemontreal.com is showing the $1.35 price in several Montreal neighbourhoods, including Ahuntsic, Villeray, Saint-Henri, Saint-LĂ©onard and downtown.

"Inventories are declining, wholesale prices are rising, and that will have an impact in Eastern Canada more than in Western Canada, just because of its proximity to that major market in the States", said Kent Group senior vice-president Michael Ervin.

McTeague says with supply down, "there are very few refineries that make enough gasoline to supply markets south of the border".

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This recent soar in gas prices is caused by the devastation to the Gulf Coast caused by Hurricane Harvey, which interrupted supplies to the East Coast. Now there is no indication the refineries have been damaged by the hurricane or resulting flooding.

"We may see even higher prices Sunday and into next week", he said.

"This is normally the time where refineries go into scheduled maintenance, but with all these refineries going into what I'll call 'unscheduled maintenance, ' it will put pressure on the ones still running to go on longer", Mr. McKnight said.

"This is going to last through the month of September and likely into October as well, with some variation", McTeague predicts.

The Eastern Canadian price hike can be read as a "shot across the bow" to signal that refineries in Ontario and Quebec don't have excess product to sell into the US market, Mr. McTeague said.

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