Date: May 1, 2018 

Topic: Factors Impacting Vancouver Gasoline Prices 

Issue Statement:

Canadian Fuels is aware of the gasoline price issue in Vancouver and growing public interest in the reasons why Vancouver pump prices are at current levels. Canadian Fuels does not provide comment about specific pump prices, but rather offers context and facts to help consumers and businesses better understand what makes up the price of gas at the pump, and market factors that create regional and seasonal differences.

Less than 30 per cent of BC’s refined product supply comes from BC refineries. The remainder is supplied from Alberta, and with smaller volumes from the US West Coast and Saskatchewan. The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline (TMPL) is a major transportation mode for fuels imported from Alberta.

Since 2014, demand for gasoline in the Lower Mainland has risen significantly. At the same time, demand for space to ship crude oil on the TMPL has pushed down the volume of refined products (fuels, including gasoline and diesel) transported through the pipeline.

The rising demand for gasoline and decrease in supply through the TMPL has created a greater reliance on imports using higher cost transportation modes (rail and barge), and from the US West Coast, a market that imports fuel and has higher refined product prices relative to the rest of North America. BC now competes for imports with the US West Coast market. These factors drive up wholesale gasoline prices, disconnecting them from wholesale prices in the rest of Western Canada.

Vancouver also has much higher rates of taxation on fuels than other jurisdictions in North America – nearly 50 cents per litre.

Source:  Kent Marketing Quarterly Report of Petroleum Pricing in Canada – Q1 2018
Related information:
Who controls gas stations – and gas prices? The answer may surprise you
Your questions about gas prices answered, part 1
Your questions about gas prices answered, part 2
Are gasoline prices lower in regulated markets? We ask an expert 

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