(Black press file photo)

Behind the pump: Multiple factors causing high gas prices in B.C.

This summer is shaping up to be a long and painful one at the gas pumps

This summer is shaping up to be a long and painful one at the gas pumps.

B.C. currently has the highest gas prices in North America. A recent poll by the Angus Reid Institute showed nine-in-ten drivers in B.C. have noticed a major increase in gas prices, and 59 per cent of residents feel the provincial government isn’t doing enough to address the issue.

Most importantly, 50 per cent of B.C. residents say rising gas prices are making it harder to afford basic necessities. One-in-three of those who have been affected by the rising prices say they have been driving less, and another quarter say they have been filling up less.

RELATED: Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

People are quick to point fingers in any direction to get to the heart of the issue. Some blame the carbon tax, while others blame oil companies for allegedly price gouging consumers for pure profit. The truth, according to a market snapshot released by the National Energy Board, is that there are multiple factors for B.C.’s high gas prices.

As per April 2019 statistics: in Vancouver, the price of crude oil is 51 cents per litre, 10 per cent below the national average. However, the cost of refining the crude oil in to gasoline is 52.1 cents per litre, roughly double the Canadian average refining margin.

The marketing margin for gasoline, the costs associated with selling it to consumers at the pump, is 10.5 cents per litre, approximately 69 percent higher than the Canadian average. Finally, taxes on gas were 53.9 cents per litre, approximately 21 percent higher than the Canadian average.

Another element of the issue is the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The pipeline currently provides B.C. with 28 thousand barrels a day of refined petroleum products. It also supplies the Parkland Refinery in Burnaby with around 50 thousand barrels a day of crude oil. Even if the expansion is completed, it may not result in lower gas prices.

On average, B.C. consumed 96 thousand barrels a day of gasoline in 2018. To feed the demand for refined petroleum products, B.C. has to get it not only from local refineries and Alberta, but also by barge from the United States, which inflates the price at the pump.

RELATED: Gas prices 101: Where B.C. drivers’ pretty pennies are going at the pump

Vancouver Island is not facing as steep of prices as Metro Vancouver, but the prices are having an impact.

Prices in Victoria vary between 157.9 at Costco and 161.9 downtown. In Duncan, gas is at 156.9, In Ladysmith, Nanaimo, and Parksville, the average cost is 153.9. Port Alberni is 156.9, Comox is 155.9, Campbell River is 152.9, Tofino is varied between 153.9 and 157.9, and Port Hardy is 167.9, the highest on Vancouver Island.

Prices are expected to continue rising throughout the summer.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Hardy RCMP discuss reconciliation with First Nations

The RCMP “want to be emotionally respectful of the past while still trying to uphold the laws.”

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

Claims already being staked after GeoScience BC report released

In the first 15 days following the report, a total of 34 new claims were staked.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Waulkwass River

A kingfisher and some trumpeter swans came by close enough to get a few shots.

Port Hardy RCMP investigating drug offences

Both vehicle occupants may face future charges related to the suspected drugs and cash.

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read