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Jump at the pump expected as Washington state refineries cut output

Last Updated Oct 10, 2018 at 1:42 pm PDT

(Source: iStock)
Summary

Prices are expected to climb following the gas line explosion in near Prince George

Three Washington State refineries are cutting their output which may lead to higher prices at the pump

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) –  A pipeline explosion in Prince George could mean Metro Vancouver drivers will see higher prices at the pumps

The rupture is forcing three refineries in Washington state to cut their output, which will likely lead to higher gas prices across the Pacific Northwest.

RELATED: 700,000 FortisBC customers could lose gas service, following pipeline explosion

That’s because those oil refineries that produce gasoline and diesel fuel are powered by natural gas, and their supplies are being interrupted by the explosion.

Prices in Vancouver could go up into the $1.60 per litre range by Friday. The ripple effect of the outage is already being seen as far south as Portland, Oregon.

Dan McTeague with GasBuddy.com says drivers here could see prices go up by as much as three cents by Friday morning.

“You will definitely see price jump. The markets have not completely settled, won’t for another hour, but I’m already looking at potential for a three-cent-a-litre increase, pushing average prices, which we saw here at the high-end in Metro Vancouver, from 158.9 to probably 161.9 for Friday,” he says. “This is really the result of refineries not having feed-stock, or the co-generation. They use natural gas from Canada…to run their operations.”

He says if companies cannot find alternate sources of power soon, prices could keep going up even more.

RELATED: Pipeline explosion near Prince George

One solution could be attracting more gas supply from global markets.

But McTeague says that would still mean a significant jump at the pump.

“We do have access to global supply through the Pacific, but it does mean that prices have to go up to attract boatloads of gasoline coming from other jurisdictions,” he says.

– With files from Sonia Aslam, Lasia Kretzel, Richard Dettman