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Prince George motorists have to dig deeper into their wallets

Facing price spike at the pumps, drivers can still save money by doing comparative shopping
Gas prices Sept 29 2022
Gas prices spiked at most filling stations in Prince George Thursday and this Petro Canada station at 1880 20th Ave., was charging $2.03.9 per litre, 24 cents more than the pump price at a nearby Esso/7-Eleven.

With gasoline prices continuing on a roller-coaster path, motorists would be wise to watch what neighbouring filling station are charging and do some comparative shopping.

Vasile Flore learned that lesson the hard way Thursday afternoon when he stopped in at the Petro Canada station at 1880 20th Ave., Thursday afternoon to fill up a pickup truck and gas cans to fuel the machines he uses for his landscaping business.

The price at the pumps for a litre of regular gasoline at the Petro Can was $2.03.9, but only two blocks east on 20th the price was only $1.79.9 per litre at the Esso/7-Eleven. That’s a difference of 24 cents per litre. Based on a 100-litre fill for a pickup, with a little price-checking he could have saved $24.

“For my work truck for my business (Vasile Landscaping) and to fill the lawnmowers I buy a lot of gas, and the prices are going crazy,” Flore said. “I guess I don’t pay attention. It’s too late now.

“I think the Americans are taking advantage of us. It’s too expensive.”

Costco usually has among the cheapest gas in the city but the price jumped from $173.9 on Wednesday to $185.5 on Thursday. Tano Fuel in Shelley, just northwest of the city, was still selling its gas for $1.75.9 Thursday, as was the Flying J Cardlock in the BCR industrial site at 4869 Continental Way.

Most other filling stations in the city have jacked their gasoline prices up in the past 24 hours, including the Husky at 122 George St ($185.9), Super Save Gas at 950 Victoria St. ($1.89.9) and Esso Convenience Store at 1977 Queensway ($1.89.9).

The Shell station at Fifth Avenue and Tabor Boulevard has its cheapest gasoline priced at $1.99.9.

Werner Antweiler, a UBC energy economist, told Vancouver Is Awesome reporter Stefan Labbe that gasoline prices are spiking all over west coast cities in North America due to supply constraints.

“It’s all local. It has nothing to do with the international oil markets,” said Antweiler. “It’s all along the West Coast, Washington to Oregon to California.” 

While fuel taxes are high in B.C., Metro Vancouver motorists pay an additional 18 cents per litre which skews prices even higher. On Tuesday, the average for a litre of gas in Vancouver was $2.34.8, compared to $1.49 in Edmonton. For diesel, the Edmonton average was $1.69.9, while in Vancouver it was $2.07.8.

The rules of supply and demand are always at play when determining fuel prices and those same peaks and valleys have created volatility in crude oil prices that sent prices skyrocketing after the Russians invaded the Ukraine. Antweiler said U.S. production of crude oil is down from pre-pandemic levels by more than a million barrels per day, which is also having an effect on prices consumers pay to fill up their tanks.

The BC Utilities Commission tracks the price of crude, gasoline and diesel prices on its website, gaspricesbc.ca. A graph shows prices reached a peak on June 13th, when the price of crude reached $95.60.

That sent fuel prices soaring in Prince George to an average of $2.15.2 per litre for gasoline and $2.18.2 for diesel. On Sept. 6th, with crude selling at $63.90, the price at the pumps in P.G., averaged $179.9 for gasoline and diesel was $2.08.4.

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