Price of gas jumps again as long weekend approaches

Gasoline prices in parts of Ontario are projected to jump by the Labour Day weekend with market watchers citing the closure of a key pipeline that supplies gasoline to the U.S. Northeast after tropical storm Harvey as one reason

Prices already jumped almost 10 cents in some places since Harvey roared ashore in Texas a week ago.

The U.S. has lost five million gallons in daily gasoline production, after refineries and a major pipeline shut down due to the impacts of Hurricane Harvey.

On Friday morning, GasBuddy posted prices of $1.10 a litre in Ottawa, less than $1.08 a litre in Toronto and less than 97 cents a litre in Calgary. The Ontario average is 1.20.

This recent soar in gas prices is caused by the devastation to the Gulf Coast caused by Hurricane Harvey, which interrupted supplies to the East Coast.

He said the only thing that could drive up prices in Western Canada would be if the entire eastern United States seaboard is hit with severe gas shortages and begins siphoning away gas from the U.S. Midwest market.

McTeague said gas prices may continue to rise Saturday and Sunday.

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In Western Canada this won't affect gas prices as much.

And the price difference is even more pronounced off Montreal island, particularly on the South Shore, the Laurentians, the Gatineau area and eastern Quebec.

A gas shortage in the USA could spill over into Canada, McTeague told Global News.

Prices are expected to remain high until refineries resume normal operation, the timing of which is still unknown.

"Until we get engineers into the refineries to assess the damage it's all speculation", he said. "We're just not in a position where we can sell spare capacity".

"If we keep our prices low, that shortage will morph into wholesalers driving north of the border under free trade - and picking up dozens of tankers in gasoline and that will eventually see a run in our own supplies", he said. That's likely to keep prices high and lead to another spike several months from now as working refineries eventually have to go into maintenance, he said.

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