'The Hurricane Harvey effect:' storm behind gas price hikes

The Vayu report noted that the wholesale gas prices were now back at levels not seen since last February. Thinkstock

Although Canadian refineries aren't directly impacted by the storm, they don't have enough capacity to meet all the needs, he said.

McTeague says gas prices will go up at least five cents a litre overnight into Friday, and the best-case scenario he sees for the weekend in the Peterborough area is $1.20 a litre to $1.30 if the stations decide to dig into that profit margin.

This is amid reports of shortages due to extensive flooding in Texas and other states along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

According to McTeague, "Canadian gas prices rise faster and higher than anywhere else in the world".

"Until we get engineers into the refineries to assess the damage it's all speculation", he said.

On Thursday in NY, the price of a barrel of crude oil for delivery in October rose USA $1.27 at closing, to U.S. $47.23.

Toronto's projected Saturday price represents a 22-cents-per-litre hike since last week, said McTeague.

TD Securities analyst Bart Melek said in a note Friday he expects crude oil prices to strengthen to above US$50 per barrel before the end of September as Houston refineries, ocean import facilities and pipelines gradually return to normal operations.

"And a potential increase for Sunday", McTeague added.

The online gas price monitoring site essencemontreal.com is showing the $1.35 price in several Montreal neighbourhoods, including Ahuntsic, Villeray, Saint-Henri, Saint-Léonard and downtown.

Roger McKnight, senior petroleum analyst with En-Pro International Inc., said he has never seen such a big price increase.

Longer term, both Mr. McKnight and Mr. McTeague expect prices to remain elevated.



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