Montreal area gas prices jump, tie record high
Published Wednesday, April 23, 2014 7:46AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:58PM EDT
The price of gas in the Montreal and Laval areas has jumped to $1.53/litre, which ties a record high set two years ago.
The price at the pumps is about nine cents higher than it was Tuesday, and 13 cents higher than the minimum price set by the Regie de L’energie.
The hike means gas prices in the Montreal area are considerably higher than they are in other areas of the province – in some places on the South and North Shores, the price was as low as $1.35/litre Wednesday morning, according to essencequebec.com.
The last time gas prices were comparably high was in September 2012, when the price for a litre of gas was $1.53.
At that time the price of oil was hovering around US$97 barrel. The price of a barrel of crude oil was trading at around US$109 Wednesday morning.
The price also soared elsewhere in Canada, although Montrealers are feeling the pinch more than most.
According to gas-industry watcher Dan McTeague, a former MP who runs the website tomorrowsgaspricestoday.com, the recent spike in prices is higher than is typical at this time of year.
“It’s not justified,” he told CTV News Channel Wednesday. “It’s the result of excessive speculation on the energy markets.”
The speculation is due, in part, to heightened tensions between Ukraine and Russia, McTeague says.
In terms of actual gas supply, McTeague says North America is “awash in crude.” However, it costs more to produce summertime gas because the difference in temperature forces producers to change their seasonal methods, and McTeague says consumers are paying the price.
He expects prices will soon return to where they were last year – if the situation in Ukraine doesn’t escalate.
If that situation does worsen, “all bets are off,” says McTeague.
Sal Guaterieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said other factors may also be at play.
"World oil prices have gone up especially the U.S. price of oil. That's probably the main factor driving gas prices higher, and as well what we're paying for that oil and imported gasloline has gone up because the canadian dollar has gone down about 10 per cent the last year," he said.
-With files from CTVNews.ca
The last time gas prices were comparably high in Montreal was in September 2012, when the price for a litre of gas was also $1.53.