On Wednesday, Moose Jaw residents woke up to a huge spike in gas prices to as high as 175.9 cents per litre at some stations, which is a 20-cent increase from the 155.9 it has been for a couple of months. Increases were seen not only in Saskatchewan but across most of Canada.
Patrick DeHaan, a GasBuddy Petroleum Analyst says these increases are due to oil refinery issues both in Western Canada and the United States, which have had an impact on prices.
“A lot of US refineries feed into Canada, and so when those facilities go down it can have an impact on both sides of the border,” says Dehaan. “An exceptional number of issues have developed including an electrical fire about a month ago at a refinery in Indiana, and another fire at a refinery a week and a half ago in Ohio.”
Dehaan adds that if these refineries can’t get back online soon, then prices will continue to go up.
“It’s very rare to see as many issues happen concurrently as what we’re seeing now, and that’s why prices have gone up so noticeably and could go up further because of the potential disruption.”
Once the refineries are back online DeHaan says that it could take two to three weeks for gas prices to resemble the resumption of oil production.
“It could be mid to late October before we get down to gas prices where they were prior to these refinery issues and that’s if everything goes well at these refineries in terms of resuming normal operations.”
Saskatchewan is somewhat well insulated from supply disruptions when it comes to oil production as most of the province’s gasoline comes from Regina’s Co-op refinery. You might be thinking why are Saskatchewan's prices increasing if we produce our own fuel?
“Some of the gasoline that flows from the Co-op refinery in Regina may begin having to flow to other areas to make up for the losses experienced by refineries in the states.”
As of Thursday morning, the average price of fuel in Saskatchewan is 168.2 cents per litre, with that number a little lower in Moose Jaw at 163.9.
The lone bright spot throughout gas prices spiking is that Hurricane Ian which made landfall in the eastern United States earlier this week hasn’t impacted the production of oil refineries in those areas.
DeHaan notes that Hurricane Fiona that barreled into eastern Canada last weekend did do a little damage to Irving Oil’s refinery in the Maritimes. He concluded by saying the damage that was done won’t likely have any major lasting effects on gas prices.
Vancouver, BC, has Canada’s most expensive gas price at 230.5 cents per litre, with Orillia, ON, the least expensive place to fuel up at 132.9.