(Black Press file photo)

Refinery explosion could cause gas price spike in B.C.

Blast could cause two cent per litre increase in Victoria, Vancouver and Lower Mainland

A large explosion and fire at an oil refinery in New Brunswick could lead to higher gas prices in British Columbia.

The massive blast shook the historic port city of Saint John on Monday, sending flames and black smoke high into the sky but causing only four minor injuries.

Officials say the cause of the explosion was a malfunction in the refinery’s diesel treating unit, where sulphur is removed from diesel fuel. There were as many as 3,000 workers at the refinery Monday.

READ MORE: Massive blast at oil refinery in New Brunswick

While half of the refinery’s daily production goes to the U.S. northeast, industry observers expect the anticipated closure could affect gas prices right across the country.

“A fire that caused undisclosed damage to the Irving refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada’s largest, has not yet been fully quantified by markets and comes in a period of lower demand and stronger inventories generally in the U.S. northeast,” said Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.

“Nevertheless, a more thorough disclosure of damage to the refinery could yield concerns for supply and raise market prices should the plant’s 330,000 barrel a day output be curtailed for an extended period of time. Upside momentum in petroleum prices seen last week could continue into this week with a mix of issues including Hurricane Michael in the Gulf Coast, growing concern for supply constraints ahead of the U.S. embargo on Iran and ongoing issues with Venezuela and Nigeria. Combined with a weaker Loonie due to the effects of pipeline constraints, motorists should look to higher pump prices generally in the weeks ahead.”

RELATED: Gas prices in Victoria jump 10 cents overnight

McTeague expects motorists to see another two cent per litre increase in Victoria, Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

Gas prices in Victoria spiked 10 cents last week, due in part to slimmer retail margins and a shortage of gas supply in the Pacific Northwest.

The average gas price in B.C. is 140.8 c/l, which is more than 10 cents above the national average of 128. 4.

– With files from the Canadian Press



ragnar.haagen@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Man charged with stealing Chief Dan George sculpture from Abbotsford school

Piece turned up in Mission pawn shop after Chilliwack artist noticed it missing this summer

Hundreds of tickets available for Canucks game in Abbotsford

Exhibition game set for Sept. 23 inside the Abbotsford Centre

New real-time location technology coming soon to Fraser Valley buses

Waiting riders will be able to see location of their bus using their phones

PHOTOS: Fraser Valley Taco Festival debuts in Abbotsford

Taco lovers descend onto Abbotsford Centre on Saturday afternoon

Your poop will cost Abbotsford and Mission $2.75 each year to truck into the Interior

The two municipalities will pay millions over the next five years to truck waste into the interior

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Guilty plea in Lower Mainland break-and-enter spree

Gordon Vincent Gladstone, 42, was charged with 12 counts relating to a dozen incidents in late 2018

Vancouver police officer hit with bear spray mid-arrest

Officer had been trying to arrest a woman wanted province-wide

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

Chilliwack’s Belle Voci brings three-day a cappella festival to Fraser Valley

Singers will learn from two of Lower Mainland’s best music leaders at Belle Voci A Cappella Festival

Most Read