The price quoted today by the American Automobile Association also works out to 70 cents a litre, and while there are areas in this country which have also recorded dramatic drops, the price fluctuation is the major subject of growing debate.
Gasbuddy.com shows provincial averages running from 93.6 cents a litre in Alberta, to 1.16.5 in Quebec, thus resulting in a 23 cent differential.
This province at 1.14.2 a litre, rests in third place at the top end of that list, and the average B.C. price is only a tenth of a cent less than that of second place Prince Edward Island.
Province wide the differential is even more mind boggling with the low end price in Prince George down to 99.9 cents litre but the high end price, less than a two hour drive south, to Kersley, is 1.43.9 which is 44 cents higher.
In addition, the head shaking stuff doesn’t stop there, because as of mid-morning there was a 20 cent a litre difference between the low end price in Dawson Creek, and the high end price in Fort St. John.
The posted price at the 100 Street Esso in Fort St. John was still at 1.28.9, but the low end post at the Legacy Car & Truck Wash in Dawson Creek was 1.18.7.
And according to gasbuddy.com it still doesn’t stop there because at mid-morning it had the price at the Temp station in Farmington, at 1.41.9, which is 23 cents higher than the low end price in Dawson Creek.
Now just to add insult to consumer injury you can go east to the Alberta border and pay only 1.05.9, and a little further east to Hythe, and pay 1.03.5, or you can go all the way to Edmonton where there are Costco outlets in Sherwood Park and St. Albert where you’ll pay only 81.4 cents a litre.
Now the question is, is there an explanation for all this, and/or a light at the end of the tunnel?
Dan McTeague, who is a former Ontario Liberal MP and now a senior petroleum analyst with gasbuddy.com said that at stations where not as much gas is sold, the price listed is still based on the price in which the gas was initially purchased at.
“If you’re buying at a market that’s collapsing really quickly, in two or three weeks the price of the product you have in your gas tanks at your station will be a lot higher than what is available in other communities,” he explained. “It gives people the impression that they are being ripped off but these things will take care of themselves as the days go on. I suspect that we might see more decreases or some decreases as early as next week.”
For those curious about why the price of diesel is higher than gasoline, the explanation in areas like this one and especially at this time of year is due to to supply and demand.
“During the winter diesel is in far greater use,” he stated. “In colder weather diesel goes up. In warmer weather it tends to fall. You won’t see the 15 cent drop or the 10 cent, but you will see the five cent which is really rare for this time of year. I’m expecting that prices for diesel will moderate. If nothing else it will be kept in check. We will certainly not see the incredible prices we saw last year as a result of shortage and also as a result of a colder than usual winter across the North American hemisphere.”