May 24th, 2024

Drivers in Eastern Canada see gas prices spike as refineries switch to summer blends

By The Canadian Press on April 18, 2024.

Eastern Canada provinces are going through a sticker shock of gas price hikes, with cars lining up at gas stations to get what they can before the price changes take effect. A person fills up at a gas station in Mississauga, Ont., Tuesday, February 13, 2024.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Drivers in Eastern Canada are going through sticker shock at the pumps, as prices jumped roughly 10-cents per litre overnight in regions such as Ontario, according to GasBuddy.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, says gasoline price increases during the spring season are quite normal as refineries switch their supply from winter to summer gas.

Winter gas is cheaper than summer blends because it contains higher butane levels – an inexpensive but volatile element which lowers the cost of fuel, he adds.

The cost of producing summer gas is higher because butane levels are reduced to meet Canadian environmental regulations and lower emissions.

De Haan says springtime gas price hikes are not the result of carbon taxes or the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East that have affected global oil prices, adding that pump prices are expected to come down in July.

Many regions in Eastern Canada witnessed long lineups at gas stations as drivers filled up before the price changes took effect.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 18, 2024.

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