Record-setting prices at the pump are expected to keep climbing this week, according to gasbuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Dan McTeague.

With most gas stations around capital charging 161.9 cents per litre for regular gas, McTeague said Monday morning that drivers should brace for another seven cents-per-litre increase as early as this afternoon or Tuesday.

“Most gas stations may make a decision to move up to 167 or 168.9 in the next 24 to 48 hours,” said McTeague.

That would bring the price to 168.9 cents per litre, which would mean a rise of more than 40 cents per-litre since the end of February when the price at most stations for regular gas was 125.9.

McTeague says that Victoria gas stations will likely have to make up for lost profits over Easter weekend as the price of oil jumped, but their prices remained the same.

Adding a nail in the coffin, the United States announced today an embargo on Iranian crude, taking effect next week.

“We will no longer grant any exemptions. We’re going to zero, going to zero across the board. We will continue to enforce sanctions and monitor compliance,” said Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State.

“Any nation or entity interacting with Iran should do its diligence and err on the side of caution. The risks are simply not going to be worth the benefits.”

The U-S is toughening its already strict penalties on Iran by trying to choke off all the revenue the country makes from oil sales.

The Trump administration announced five nations _ China, Japan, South Korea, India and Turkey _ will no longer be exempt from U.S. sanctions if they import oil from Iran, effective May 2.

The move tightens up global gas supply, forcing up the price per barrel, everywhere.

In morning trading in New York, Brent crude, used to price international oils, jumped 2.6 per cent to $73.80 U-S per barrel.

And local companies are already feeling the pinch.

“It does get frustrating, right now we’re absorbing the costs,” said Al Hashim, owner of Maximum Express.

“Beginning of every month we kind of plan what we’re going to do for the next month. But this month we’ve already had four or five increases. And there’s another one to come tonight.”

The courier company is so fed-up, they’re considering electrifying their fleet.

“We’ve been looking at it for the past few years. We are looking at more and more electric vehicles,” said Hashim.

And some politicians say that, is the right path to take.

“Once you get an electric car, you’re never going back,” said B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver.

“Now is the times to move forward, and the government is giving some pretty good incentives both federally and provincially. This is what people should think about and never again should you think about gas prices.”

All this comes as output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia is curbed, and ‘output problems in Libya and Venezuela’ are also helping to trigger an anticipated dramatic rise in price, according to McTeague.

Gasbuddy.com says the average price of gas at 161.8 cents per litre around Victoria is up 16.9 cents per litre compared to the average in March.

Refinery issues in the U.S. that supply Pacific markets have contributed to the soaring price of gas in recent weeks, along with an increase in the wholesale price of gas and a more than one cent-per-litre hike B.C.’s carbon tax.

With files from The Canadian Press.

CHEK News