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Drivers still feeling pinch at gas pump, despite declining oil prices
Published Tuesday, November 21, 2017 2:21PM CST
Ahmed Araf compares gas prices online before filling up at the pump. As a taxi driver, he wants to find the best deal. But lately, those deals are few and far between.
“I used to fill up the tank (to) like almost $40. Now it's going up to like $70,” said Araf. “Things are getting expensive, and the earnings (are) getting less.”
Jeff Rubin - a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation - told CTV’s Your Morning on Friday he believes the reason for high pump prices lies at the refineries.
“The decline in oil prices has not been passed on to the consumer. It has instead been kept by the refiner, who's now getting a larger margin,” said Rubin.
According to GasBuddy.com, in 2014, when crude oil was approximately $108 USD/barrel, gas was $1.27 Cnd/litre in Regina. As of Tuesday afternoon, crude oil stands around $55 USD/barrel, and gas in the Queen City is approximately $1.10 Cnd/litre.
Dan McTeague - a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy - said it's more complicated than that.
“It's easy for some (people) to point out and say, ‘Oh, well when oil was $100 or $88 a barrel, this is what we were paying at the pumps.’ A couple things have changed,” said McTeague. “Taxes have increased dramatically, but more importantly, the Canadian dollar has lost about 28 or 29 cents on the (US) dollar.”
McTeague said prices also have to do with the lack of competition among Canadian refineries.
“There is a cost consequence to that, where we do pay well above oil prices for gasoline,” said McTeague.
Analysts have mixed opinions on whether or not more pipelines would mean cheaper gas for Canadians. Some say savings would stay at the refinery level. On the other hand, McTeague said more pipelines would give greater access to cheaper Canadian oil, increase competition among refineries and lead to cheaper pump prices for the public.