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TORONTO, ON – Gas prices will be going up over the weekend but it isn’t because of Canada Day.
Costs rose one cent per litre on Thursday and are expected to jump another three cents Friday. Dan McTeague with GasBuddy said the prices should stay that way for the foreseeable future.
According to McTeague, the cost is being driven up by a refinery closing in Philadelphia.
“Here in eastern Canada we have seen the effect of a major oil refinery fire a week ago today,” McTeague said. “It’s the largest refinery in the eastern U.S. and the company decided to close it. Because of that, there is going to be volatility and tightness of gas supplies throughout much of North America.”
He added on average Canadians will be paying $1.30 per litre for gas across the country, but that won’t be the case locally. McTeague essentially told drivers to just add three cents to what the pumps are saying Thursday and that should be the price over the weekend.
“So what we are looking at is really a net increase,” McTeague said. “A lot of those stations that are $1.15 per litre will go to $1.18. The stations charging $1.23 will go up to $1.26. It isn’t retailers raising it, but rather the bump up on the wholesale side.”
Most drivers are used to paying more at the pump heading into a long weekend, but McTeague said our gas prices are driven by the U.S. They don’t celebrate July 4th until next weekend.
There is potential light at the end of the tunnel, but the outcome could be positive or negative. According to McTeague, the current G20 summit in Japan will have a big impact on gas prices back home.
He said a lot depends on if U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping can ease trade tensions between the two nations.
“Asia is typically an area for oil demand,” McTeague said. “If an agreement is made then energy prices will go up. If not, then we could the reverse could happen and prices might fall a little bit.”
The expert added it is tough to predict longterm gas prices, but now they are trending up. He said prices have risen roughly 11 cents in the last two weeks.
According to McTeague, the refinery in Philadelphia provided over a quarter of the fuel to the U.S. northeast so demand is high, to say the least.