Calgary gas prices may see relief this week, but analysts warn of market uncertainty

·2 min read
An oil price drop late last week has Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, saying consumers could potentially see some price relief.  (Dave Gilson/CBC - image credit)
An oil price drop late last week has Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, saying consumers could potentially see some price relief. (Dave Gilson/CBC - image credit)

Calgary drivers hope to see a break at the gas pump the next few days, but analysts warn factors like global reaction to the new COVID-19 variant could add to market uncertainty.

Reports from GasBuddy show the average price of gasoline hovering around $1.40 per litre Monday morning in the city.

Calgary resident Brent Gordon says he's been driving more ever since restrictions have eased, and high gas prices has sent him looking for cheaper pumps in the city.

"I make the effort because it does make a difference," he said, adding that his family will often get gas at Costco.

Calgarian Joanne Finocchiaro says she inferences that high gas prices will impact grocery prices as well.

"We're all gonna feel it," she said.

Omicron variant

The emergence of the new COVID-19 variant, called omicron, contributed to a decline in crude oil prices late last week.

And while Canadian health experts have cautioned against alarm over the new variant, investors that fear that it could knock the economic recovery off course were fast to emerge Friday — rattling markets broadly.

Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, says the variant could potentially cause some gasoline price relief, but adds its unclear how long that would last.

"You know there is a lot of turbulence in this market. In fact, probably the most turbulence and challenging time to accurately predict where we go simply because so much of the future is going to ride on how governments respond to this new variant," he said.

"So certainly keeping that in mind, it's going to be a bumpy ride here over the next coming months."

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies will meet this week and are expected to discuss whether to adjust plans to increase output by 400,000 barrels per day in January and beyond.

De Haan says this discussion could have a heavy hand in the price of oil moving forward later this week.

"I think it would be a disappointment if OPEC does not increase production, and that could drive oil prices right back up. So what is shaping up for later today and tonight with a gas price decline across Canada coast to coast, and then Calgary, as well, may not be long lasting."

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