Gas prices in Greater Victoria and the rest of Vancouver Island have come down slightly in the past month, but are significantly higher than the same time last year, according to a recent survey. (Photo contributed)

Gas prices in Greater Victoria and the rest of Vancouver Island have come down slightly in the past month, but are significantly higher than the same time last year, according to a recent survey. (Photo contributed)

Gas prices roughly 30 per cent higher than last year on southern Vancouver Island

Holiday season, COVID-related drop in demand, could drive prices down: industry watchdog

Numbers at the gas pumps are proving that the good times always seem to be behind us, despite falling prices more recently.

In a recent comparison by GasBuddy.com, gas prices around Greater Victoria were 38 cents higher per litre – 31.7 per cent – than at the same time last year, according to a survey of 95 gas outlets.

The average of 157.70 c/l for regular gas Nov. 22 compared to 119.66 c/l on the same date last year. The lowest regional price for that date in the last five years came was 114.87 c/l in 2016.

Despite the year over year jump, average regular gas prices in the region have fallen in the past month, however, from a StatCan reported average of 162.4 c/L in October down to 152.9 c/l – prices dropped five cents a litre at many stations in the days following the gas rationing announcement.

Meanwhile, the local groan in remembrance of last year’s sunny gas prices mirrors the rest of Canada. Gas prices nationally were on average 43.4 c/l higher than on Nov. 22 last year.

The provincial average has risen slightly in recent weeks, going from 151.22 c/l for regular in mid-November to 151.79 c/l on Nov. 22.

READ ALSO: Canadians to get biggest drop in gasoline prices since 2009 over COVID variant fears

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There’s cause for optimism in prices becoming more reasonable, however, said to GasBuddy head of petroleum analysis, Patrick De Haan.

“With oil prices plunging nearly $10 from the recent peak of $85 per barrel, motorists will start to see gas prices decline nationwide, just in time for the holidays, and the decline could stretch for several weeks,” he said. “So long as oil prices hold near these levels or continue falling, it’s not impossible that the national average could shed five to 15 cents per litre over the coming weeks.”

The recent decline in gas prices likely reflects the possibility of coordinated oil releases from global reserves. “If that doesn’t happen, oil could again rally,” De Haan said. “However, with COVID-19 cases on the rise again and reducing global demand, it does seem the most likely outcome will be a drop in gas prices that could last several weeks.”


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Gasoline prices