Gasoline prices expected to stay low despite threat of hurricanes: analyst

The mere hint of a hurricane hitting the U.S. Gulf Coast is usually enough to send pump prices upward in Canada and the United States.

CALGARY — The mere hint of a hurricane hitting the U.S. Gulf Coast is usually enough to send pump prices upward in Canada and the United States.

But a petroleum analyst says consumers won’t likely see higher gas prices this fall — and they have the recession to thank.

En-Pro International’s Roger McKnight says fuel demand is so low that a disruption in the storm-prone Gulf — home to 40 per cent of U.S. refining capacity — probably won’t make a difference this year.

In the past, Canadian consumers have felt the impact of events thousands of kilometres away because the Canadian and U.S. markets are so intertwined, McKnight says.

But he says prices this year should fall “dramatically” after the Labour Day weekend, barring any refinery outages in Canada or massive hurricanes in the Gulf.

The first hurricane of this relatively tame season — hurricane Bill — is churning in the Atlantic, and does not appear to be heading anywhere near the Gulf.

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