As expected, fuel prices increased this week as the Victoria Day long weekend approached.
Prices at Comox Valley gas stations ranged from $1.34 to $1.39 per litre Friday — about average compared to the rest of the province.
Gas stations in the Cowichan Valley and Mill Bay offered motorists the best bang for the buck Friday at $1.24 per litre, according to GasBuddy.com, a website that tracks fuel costs in Canada and the U.S.
Several Lower Mainland stations and one in Fort Nelson were the most expensive at $1.49.
Prices throughout Greater Victoria were sitting at $1.41 per litre Friday, the highest in five years in the provincial capital.
As of Friday, B.C. had the highest average fuel prices of all Canadian provinces at $1.41. Second highest was the Northwest Territories at $1.38. Alberta was lowest at $1.23 per litre.
Temporary shutdowns at refineries in Edmonton and in the U.S., along with a supply crunch on the West Coast, are among the factors for the recent jump in price, according to analysts.
The shutdown at Suncor Energy’s refinery in Edmonton has far-reaching effects because it is a major supplier for Western Canada. In addition, wholesale prices in Vancouver rose about 14 cents in recent weeks but have not moved in Toronto.
However, GasBuddy.com predicts prices will stabilize in B.C.
In late May last year, prices reached $1.43 per litre at some Comox Valley stations before dropping to $1.34.
Gasbuddy.com co-founder Jason Toews said one of the reasons for the spike was refinery issues on the West Coast of the U.S., which directly impacts B.C.