By Lethbridge Herald on February 12, 2016.
At least briefly, thereâ€™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 weekâ€™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 Canadaâ€™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 cityâ€™s other low-cost leaders, Safeway, Canadian Tire and Superstore. But all three offer cents-off deals that make actual prices about equal.
Fridayâ€™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 cityâ€™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 â€” 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 â€” including that cityâ€™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 familyâ€™s super-refinery in Saint John, as well as at Petro-Canada and Ultramar stations in New Brunswickâ€™s port city.
In Montreal, in another high-tax jurisdiction, Costco was lowest at 88.9 cents while that companyâ€™s counterparts in Toronto were charging 78.9 cents per litre.