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West still feeling higher gas prices

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The latest weekly survey of gasoline prices shows high prices from spring are trending into summer, according to data from oil industry consultants MJ Ervin & Associates and Kent Marketing Services.

Everywhere in western Canada, except Lloydminister, that is.

In the city that straddles the Saskatchewan-Alberta border gas is cheaper than anywhere else in Canada at $1.10 a litre --  down 3.6 cents from the previous week.

Across Canada, falling rates for wholesale supplies are showing up with lower gas prices at the pumps in central and eastern Canada.

The West is paying more because Edmonton and Calgary based oil refineries picked up the slack for a refinery knocked off line months ago in Washington state. As long as these Canadian supplies are working their way through the system, prices remain elevated, experts say.

"The Washington state refinery was completely shut down for a couple months," said Jason Parent, senior associate with the Kent Group in London, Ont. whose company monitors the consumer impact of oil prices in Canada.

The weekly survey reviews gas prices at the pumps for every province and major city in Canada. "Edmonton and Calgary picked up the slack for Washington," Parent said.

The scenario is starting to shift and prices may start to fall but there’s no telling what the impact might be because the West Coast fire took out one of the largest refineries in the region, and it could take a while for the system to stabilize.

"Wholesale prices are coming down slightly, a couple of cents per litre, four or five cents, which isn’t a lot," Parent said. "That’s four or five cents higher from Thunder Bay, west," he said.

 

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