Gas prices in Burns Lake reached a new high overnight last week with fuel prices predicted to reach record levels in the province.
The gas price in Burns Lake was steady at $1.39 for several weeks after it went up from $1.31 in March. Last week though, prices shot up to $1.46 before steadying at $1.43.
Prices in neighbouring Vanderhoof are also at $1.43 while Houston remained at $1.39. Gas prices in Prince George range between $1.35 to $1.43 while those in Smithers range between $1.37 to $1.39.
According to Patrick De Haan, head of Petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, strong gasoline demand as states and cities reopen will likely continue to be a major factor keeping gas prices high.
“With most additional supply being gobbled up very quickly, gas prices will likely stay at elevated levels for the foreseeable future. Motorists can continue to fight the high gas prices by remembering to shop around each time they get below half a tank,” he said.
This sentiment has been echoed by gas analyst and president of Canadians for Affordable Energy Dan McTeague. who stated that with increasing vaccination rates, lifting of travel restrictions, the demand for gas is skyrocketing but supply isn’t.
In the lower mainland prices drivers will be expected to pay would be as high as $1.71/litre Friday and $1.75/litre on the weekend, he added.
Partly to blame is a gas shutdown plaguing a refinery in Ferndale, Wash.
“There’s a shortened repository of gas in the South Pacific market which supplies Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland,” McTeague says.
These factors are causing unprecedented highs in both B.C. fuel prices and those just across the southern border.
“We haven’t seen this type of supply crunch since April 2019,” McTeague says, predicting prices will remain high until major changes occur.
British Columbia is the highest-taxed jurisdiction in North America, costing drivers an average extra 77 cents per litre.
“It could take a recession to change this,” McTeague said. “The government needs to back off on taxes.”
– With files from Sarah Grochowski