Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, said gas shortages could become a reality for many parts of the United States next week.
"Gasoline in NB (but not diesel or heating oil) likely to jump as much as 9 cents tonight at midnight in special Harvey price setting", CBC's resident Gas Guru Robert Jones tweeted this morning. Marie days before the long weekend and as of Friday at around 5:30 p.m. prices were as high as 135.9 cents per litre.
IHS Markit said in a report Friday about 3.6 million barrels per day of Gulf Coast refining capacity or 20 per cent of the US total is off-line, with a further 1.8 million bpd or 10 per cent operating at reduced rates.
That, in turn, would reduce supplies and drive up prices in Western Canada.
It said outbound pipelines, including the 2.6 million bpd Colonial system to NY, are unable to source product from Houston, leading to surging fuel prices throughout the United States.
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"Until we get engineers into the refineries to assess the damage it's all speculation", he said. About one-quarter of total refining capacity in the U.S.is offline. A better picture of impact on overall supply will start to emerge early next week, although oil futures contracts are already pointing to a price decline of about 2 cents starting on Sunday, he said. As of Friday, most pumps sat around 110 cents a litre for regular fuel in the Queen City.
In Vancouver, McKnight predicted little change on the weekend but McTeague says he expects a five-cent jump on Saturday.
And the price difference is even more pronounced off Montreal island, particularly on the South Shore, the Laurentians, the Gatineau area and eastern Quebec.
McTeague said service stations in Montreal could take advantage of higher wholesale prices to raise prices and increase profit margins.