Greater Victoria drivers are going to have to pay more to get around as gas prices have gone up again.
As of Tuesday, several stations around the city were selling a litre of regular gas for 155.9 cents ($1.56). It’s a jump of nine cents per litre since the long weekend and equals the record price set in May.
“We really suggest to people either filling up today or getting out of the Victoria area to get gas,” GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst Dan McTeague said.
According to McTeague, over the past week, gas retailers had been absorbing the retail margins.
“But at some point, they had to throw in the towel,” McTeague said.
McTeague said the gasoline, diesel and oil inventory has dropped in the United States but the demand in the U.S. and globally continues to climb, especially in the Pacific Northwest, a desirable area.
“Demand is through the roof but supply tightened a bit so that’s what’s driving [gas prices] up,” McTeague said, adding that more people are driving in the U.S. as the economy approves.
The price of U.S. crude oil also reached a three-and-a-half year high, with the U.S. benchmark briefly passing $75 a barrel.
However, the Canadian dollar remains weak. It did strengthen against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday as oil prices rose. The average value for the Canadian dollar on Tuesday was 76.02 cents US, up 0.08 of a cent from Friday.
The price increases that Greater Victoria residents have been seeing since April have also been attributed to a two per cent per litre tax increase to fund transit improvements. British Columbia’s carbon tax rate also went up by $5 on April 1. It is now $35 a tonne, which meant an increase of about 1.2 cents per litre to the price of gas and diesel.
McTeague said while the prices may drop a bit in several days, drivers should get used to high prices.
“It’s been like this for a couple of years and it’s likely not going to get better,” McTeague said.