‘Volatile’ oil market will make for unpredictable gas prices, expert says

Despite gas prices around B.C. being down anywhere between 10 and 15 cents for a litre of regular compared to last week, it’s hard to tell how long it will last.

That’s according to Economics professor with UBC’s Sauder School of Business, Werner Antweiler, who chalks up the most recent price drop to movement in the international crude oil market.

“It’s certainly good news for motorists, and it’s been long overdue that some of the bottlenecks that we’ve seen in our refinery supply chain have normalized,” he told CityNews.


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The price for a barrel of oil as of Monday sat at just under $76 USD. Antweiler says oil prices could stay that way for the foreseeable future.

“What we’ll probably see is that prices will be hovering near that mark as the market finds its footing,” he said.

Although prices are a little easier to handle right now, Antweiler warns they could be all over the place a little further down the road.

“Prices can shoot up and drop very quickly. This is a lesson that we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks,” he said. “I think no expert really, with any confidence say the prices are going to stay this way or go significantly up or down.”

Antweiler says with the European Union implementing oil sanctions against Russia on Dec. 5, it’s uncertain what effect it could have on the global market.

“A lot of question marks are looming on the horizon and that makes it really impossible to make any prediction with any degree of confidence,” he said.

B.C. has seen among the highest prices for a litre of regular gasoline anywhere in North America. At one point, it surpassed $2.39 per litre, which was a North American record.

According to the website GasBuddy, the price for regular on Monday is around $1.66 per litre in Vancouver, $1.58 per litre in Abbotsford, and $1.69 in Victoria.

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