Whitehorse gasoline prices increased recently, despite a decline in the price of light sweet crude.
Regular gas was selling at 84 cents a litre locally just a couple of weeks ago, but last week saw prices hovering around $1 per litre.
The conflicting surge in prices isn’t unusual, said Jason Toews, co-founder of Gasbuddy.com.
There’s a month-and-a-half long delay between the price of light sweet crude on future markets and gasoline prices, said Toews, whose website posts gas prices across North America.
“It takes that amount of time to get gasoline out of the ground, into the refineries and to the gas station,” he said.
Light sweet crude was trading at almost US$50 a barrel in early January, but was trading at just under US$40 a barrel last week.
Gas prices were up along the Alaska Highway, with prices in Fort Nelson hovering between $1.05 cents a litre for regular gasoline at one station and $1.27 cents a litre at another.
The price of light sweet crude has continued to fall steadily since last summer’s peak prices, as demand decreases and oil producers try to keep from being over-supplied.
Weather may impact the price in remote areas, said Toews. Whitehorse gas stations may be bumping up prices to handle the anticipated demand when distributors begin having difficulties with deliveries, he said.
Gas prices also begin to rise throughout the spring and into the summer.
“Starting early February, gas prices start to rise,” he said. “When the days start getting longer and the weather starts to get a little warmer, you start to do a little more driving, and demand for gasoline goes up because of that.” (James Munson)