(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.

Just Posted

Gogo Band rings in the new year with high-energy show

Osborne Bay Pub favourites return to provide the party atmosphere

Steeples three-unit expansion nearing completion

Project will add more much-needed independent housing

Strike taking a toll on families of WFP workers with Christmas approaching

Donations being sought at the union hall in Duncan to provide assistance

Heartfelt donation

Warmth spread for the holiday season through Toys, Toiletries and Toques campaign

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read