Expert says Sask. gas prices could remain high into next year

·2 min read
A petroleum analyst at gasbuddy.com says people in Saskatchewan can expect high gas prices for months. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A petroleum analyst at gasbuddy.com says people in Saskatchewan can expect high gas prices for months. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Drivers across Saskatchewan can expect prices at the pump to remain high for months.

On Tuesday morning, the average gas price in both Regina and Saskatoon sat at 143.9 cents, with prices expected to climb even higher.

"We're seeing all-time record highs across Saskatoon, across Saskatchewan and across Canada," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at gasbuddy.com, on CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

"This comes on the heels of the price of [crude] oil, which is now at its highest level in seven years."

De Haan said gas prices across the country have experienced incredible fluctuations since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when prices at the pump hit prices hit bottom in the spring of 2020.

He said that once prices started crashing, petroleum producers started drastically cutting back on production. Now, combined with energy crunches in Europe and China, the added demand is sending gas prices through the roof.

"It's simply supply and demand," said De Haan.

"Demand has recovered to near pre-COVID levels, but oil production remains far, far lower than where it was going into the pandemic, and that's why prices are much higher."

De Haan estimates that Saskatchewan gas prices will remain high for the next six months and that prices could climb as high as $1.55 per litre.

"The unfortunate news is that Canadians are going to be digging deeper to fill their tanks and to heat their homes [this winter]," he said.

"These supply bottlenecks and those overseas energy issues I mentioned probably won't disappear in the weeks or months ahead."

Despite the higher prices, De Haan believes that consumers' driving habits won't necessarily change much this winter. He said long road trips are generally not taken in the winter, while holiday trips to visit family members are generally tradition-based and unlikely to change soon.

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