Albertans should "embrace high prices" as gas creeps above $1.50 a litre

Mar 1 2022, 6:55 pm

One expert says Albertans should “embrace higher prices” as the price at the pump creeps up in spots across the province.

Vijay Muralidharan, director of consulting at Kalibrate & Kent Group in Calgary, says the cost of fuel has skyrocketed thanks to an increase in demand in the post-COVID era and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Demand has been quite strong, simply because it is the post-COVID era, said Muralidharan.

The oil market has become volatile since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the growing list of sanctions against Russia. Russia is the world’s third largest producer of oil, accounting for 11% of the global share.

“You have a scare with Russia’s oil output, it freaks out the market at the sure thought at the risk, it creates uncertainty. It’s got 100% due to the Russia/Ukraine conflict. There’s no explanation beyond that.”

According to the latest daily pump price survey from Kent Group, regular gas in Edmonton sits at 143.1 cents per litre, Calgary is at 146.6 cents per litre and Lethbridge is 150.2 cents per litre.

“It’s about 18 to 20 cents higher a litre because of the war in Ukraine.”

Muralidharan says motorists should likely prepare for high gas prices in Alberta for the foreseeable future.

“The driving season in the US starts in a few weeks’ time, and that’s usually when prices go up. So, embrace high pricing. If the war in Ukraine persists, get prepared.”

“Last summer the refinery margin was 33/34 cents a litre. In February, it was 24 cents a litre. In summer months, the margin is higher than in the winter. You do the math.”

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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