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Greater Victoria gas prices soar to almost $1.40 a litre

Feb 28 2012
Gas prices are up again in Greater Victoria gas stations such as this one at the corner of Hillside Avenue and Shelbourne Street. 

Gas prices are up again in Greater Victoria gas stations such as this one at the corner of Hillside Avenue and Shelbourne Street.

Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury , timescolonist.com (Feb. 27, 2012)

Greater Victoria gas prices took another spike in the past few days, and were perched at $1.39.9 a litre on Monday.

That's up from prices as low as $120.9, and although it's high, it's far from a record. Local motorists were paying $1.539 in July 2008.

"Given the trend of the last six months or so, I'll be very surprised if it stays the same for more than 24 hours," said Chris Foord, a transportation consultant and chairman of the Capital Regional District traffic safety commission.

"Twice in the last week I've driven by Tillicum and Craigflower, and as I'm stopped at the light, the price is changing at the station."

With world oil prices at about $105 a barrel, $1.30 for a litre of gas is likely more realistic than the lower prices we've been seeing, Foord said.

He said personal habits can be factored in when considering the price of fuel.

"There's two things with gas prices. One, there's the price per litre. And the second is the function of how much you drive. So the two ways to cut down your expenditures are to try and find a deal on prices and, secondly, to try and drive a little bit less — or be a little bit more efficient in how you drive."

An informal car pool to work with a colleague or neighbour "will save a bundle," he said.

Shell Canada's Jeff Gabert said the standard gas-price explanation applies to the current trend.

"People often think that there's all kinds of vagaries when it comes to gas pricing, but it really does come down to the simple three things: crude oil prices, local market conditions and the wholesale price."

Gabert said it is also important to note that gasoline sales are "ultra-competitive."

"One of the things that most service stations have behind the counter is a pair of binoculars, so that they can see when the other guy changes the price."

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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