January 20th, 2021

Oil drop eases gas pains

By Lethbridge Herald on February 12, 2016.

A sign lists gas prices as motorist fill up Friday afternoon at a northside gas station. As the price of oil continues to decline, gas prices per litre were listed in the mid-60s at many Lethbridge fill stations. Herald photo by Ian Martens

Dave Mabell
At least briefly, there’s good news and better news in a province so heavily dependent on oil.
The wholesale price for oil jumped $3.23 per barrel in week’s-end trading, while the Canadian dollar rose as well.
But at the gas pumps, the posted price for gasoline fell as low as 61.9 cents a litre in Lethbridge, the lowest in many years.
For travellers, it was a penny or two cheaper Friday in Calgary, according to the Gas Buddy website. And in Edmonton, Western Canada’s oil refining headquarters, a northside gas bar was charging as little as 55.5 cents for regular-grade fuel.
The downward plunge came as the March futures price for crude rose to $29.44 per barrel, and the Canadian dollar advanced to 72.4 cents U.S.
The Lethbridge price survey, as reported in the early afternoon, showed the members-only Costco price was 3.5 cents lower than the city’s other low-cost leaders, Safeway, Canadian Tire and Superstore. But all three offer cents-off deals that make actual prices about equal.
Friday’s second-lowest here, the Gas Plus on Jerry Potts Boulevard West, was asking for 64.9 cents. That put it one cent higher than three Gas Plus locations across Calgary. That city’s Costco stores pegged prices at 60.9 cents.
In Edmonton, the Web reports showed a Domo gas bar on Princess Elizabeth Avenue at 55.5 cents a litre, followed by four Costco outlets at 56.4 cents.
For out-of-province travel, the advice is to head east. In Regina, where a Co-Op refinery processes Saskatchewan oil, the Costco price was 61.9 cents — the same as here. In Winnipeg, it was 63.4 cents.
But heading west on the Trans-Canada Highway, Albertans would see the Costco price in Kamloops was 75.9 cents, while brand-name stations like Shell, Chevron and Petro-Canada were charging 78.9 cents.
And out on the coast, where most of the Vancouver-area refineries have been decommissioned over the years, two Shell stations in the West Broadway area were showing 98.9 cents. All others remained above $1 — including that city’s transit levy and other add-on taxes.
In Eastern Canada, where refineries use offshore oil rather than Western Canadian crude, prices Friday were a uniform 84.9 cents at Irving stations near the Irving family’s super-refinery in Saint John, as well as at Petro-Canada and Ultramar stations in New Brunswick’s port city.
In Montreal, in another high-tax jurisdiction, Costco was lowest at 88.9 cents while that company’s counterparts in Toronto were charging 78.9 cents per litre.

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