People in Saskatchewan got a bit of a shock at the pumps this week when the price of gas per litre jumped up ten cents.
Roger McKnight, chief petroleum analyst with EnPro industries, explained that a couple of refineries in the U.S. shut down for maintenance and that’s likely the cause of some of the jump.
“The BP refinery is key for the U-S midwest and for it to go down for a month and cut back by 50 per cent of capacity is kind of serious,” said McKnight.
He said the shut downs created a bit of concern about supply.
“This may be just a short knee-jerk reaction. The oil companies are pretty good at maintaining supply even given this difficult situation.”
However, McKnight explained prices shouldn’t have gone up to 102.9 cents a litre. He said they should have been about eight cents cheaper than that.
“The retailers decided to take advantage of a very strong rumour and boosted their prices and really made quite a profit at the pump.”
By late-Friday, about half the gas stations in Regina had slipped back down to 95.9 cents per litre.
In looking ahead, McKnight said it’s tough to tell where the price of crude oil, and therefore where the price of gas, might go in the next few months.