Gas prices expected to be relatively low this summer

CALGARY — Gassing up your vehicle is expected to be relatively cheap this summer — one of the few silver linings to the recent economic misery.

CALGARY — Gassing up your vehicle is expected to be relatively cheap this summer — one of the few silver linings to the recent economic misery.

The warmer weather normally brings with it ramped up demand for gas as motorists take to the highways for summer road trips.

A staggering rise in gas prices to around $1.40 per litre outraged drivers across Canada last year as the cost of that product’s main ingredient, crude oil, soared to a record high of US$147 per barrel.

But this year, industry observers are predicting a relatively subdued summer driving season, which runs from May to September, as consumers keep a closer watch on their spending.

“You’re not going to see the annual panic at the pumps because the price of crude is way below what it was last year and there is no demand for the product that you use the crude to produce,” said Roger McKnight, senior petroleum adviser for En-Pro International Inc. in Oshawa, Ont.

“You may see a little bit of a spike, say about five cents a litre on an annual basis. But all in all I see where prices are today is where they’re going to stay throughout the summer.”

The average gas price across Canada has been hovering in the 88 to 90-cent-a-litre range over the past few weeks, according the price-tracking website

That’s the lowest it’s been for this time of year since 2004, said GasBuddy co-founder Jason Toews.

One reason is that the price of crude oil, the raw product from which gasoline is made, is currently worth about US$50 per barrel.

A year ago, Canadians were on average paying more than $1.21 per litre and crude prices were edging toward the US$120 per barrel mark.

Toews is predicting a bump in pump prices over the next few months, though it won’t be anywhere near as eye-popping as the 2008 level.

“I’m expecting the gas prices in Canada to go up over the next couple of weeks here before the Victoria Day long weekend. We’re probably going to see gas prices peaking at somewhere around $1.05 per litre,” he said.

Motorists’ ideas of what constitutes a gas-price bargain has changed a great deal since last summer’s enormous spike, Toews added.

“When gas prices first broke $1 per litre, everybody and their dog was upset about gas prices. You heard a lot of talk about boycotting the oil companies,” he said.

“After seeing $1.40 per litre gas across the country last summer, it really puts it into perspective and we kind of like these cheap prices now. Ninety cents per litre doesn’t scare anybody anymore.”

Our southern neighbours will also enjoy a respite from pump price pain, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Regular-grade gasoline is expected to average US$2.23 per gallon, the equivalent of 71 cents per litre. Last summer U.S. gas prices averaged the equivalent of C$1.21 per litre.

Both Toews and McKnight caution that the easing in gas prices won’t last forever.

“I think we’re going to see the return of really high gas prices once the economy recovers,” said Toews.

“This is kind of a temporary reprieve from the high gas prices because of the recession.”

Just Posted

UFA donates $500,000 to Olds College

Money will go towards an innovation lab and “smart farm”

More police presence in Red Deer’s downtown starts this month

“We recognize… that citizens are concerned about safety,” said Mayor Veer

Red Deer RCMP look for fraud suspect

Purse stolen from fitness locker

One strong wind leaves years of replanting work for Red Deer parks staff

High visibility boulevards already replanted, neighbourhood work starts next year

Red Deer-area indigenous filmmakers invited to apply for $20,000 grant

Storyhive launches Indigenous Storyteller Edition

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Montreal Alouettes defensive lineman Woody Baron co-authors children’s book

TORONTO — Woody Baron finds the spectre of tangling with a hulking… Continue reading

Sundin not surprised Leafs asking stars to take less money to stay together

TORONTO — Mats Sundin isn’t surprised the Toronto Maple Leafs are asking… Continue reading

Anywhere but Washington: Why DC stories rarely film in DC

WASHINGTON — It’s a hobby among District of Columbia locals: Picking apart… Continue reading

‘Halloween’ scares up $77.5 million in ticket sales

LOS ANGELES — Forty years after he first appeared in theatres, Michael… Continue reading

iPhone XR makes the right trade-offs for a cheaper price

NEW YORK — Apple offers you a simple trade-off with its new… Continue reading

BMW to recall 1.6 million vehicles worldwide over fire risk

FRANKFURT — Automaker BMW says it is expanding a recall to cover… Continue reading

Calgary awaits federal financing on 2026, Notley suggests IOC could pay more

CALGARY — With the clock ticking towards a Calgary vote on hosting… Continue reading

Toronto Mayor John Tory cruises to victory; tech issues extend voting elsewhere

Toronto Mayor John Tory easily won re-election on Monday after a spirited… Continue reading

Most Read