Gas prices on the rise in Saskatchewan due to Hurricane Harvey

Posted September 03, 2017

Those prices are likely here to stay for several weeks, says Dan McTeague, a senior analyst with GasBuddy.com. In Saskatoon, gas prices on average were at $1.02 Thursday and 96 cents last week.

The price at the pump rose Thursday night in Montreal for a second time in three days, reaching an average of almost $1.35 per litre of regular fuel by Friday morning. "And with that they'll be able to feed product into the Colonial Pipeline and restore inventories in the northeastern US", said Michael Ervin, senior vice-president with Kent Group Ltd. "To put that into perspective, that's about 10 to 20 per cent more than all the gas needs in Canada".

The U.S. has lost five million gallons in daily gasoline production, after refineries and a major pipeline shut down due to the impacts of Hurricane Harvey.

McTeague said how much the price actually jumped up works out to be closer to nine cents, but the message is the same.

Gas retailers in Canada are not facing a potential shortage due to the slowdown in Texas production, but Canadian prices depend on USA prices, with Eastern Canada taking its cue from New York, Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo, and much of Western Canada looking to Chicago and Minneapolis. "There isn't a lot of spare wiggle room".

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And the price difference is even more pronounced off Montreal island, particularly on the South Shore, the Laurentians, the Gatineau area and eastern Quebec.

Drivers can expect to see much higher prices at the pumps this Labour Day weekend.

"If we keep our prices low, that shortage will morph into wholesalers driving north of the border under free trade - and picking up dozens of tankers in gasoline and that will eventually see a run in our own supplies", 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.