(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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: How a Langley small business owner ended up working six months for free

Take a close look and get references before you sign a contract, she advises other business owners

A new approach needed to get Canadians home from India, MPs say

Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen and Abbotsford MP Ed Fast issue joint call

UPDATE: Langley community gardens remain closed

‘Confusion’ over status after province declares them an essential service

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Insurance shock for Langley condo owners

Claim-free two-year-old townhouse complex told premium will nearly triple

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read