FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Drivers in the Peace and throughout the province are experiencing all-time high gas prices at approximately $1. 65 per litre.

The previous record in B.C. was set in 2001 at $1.47 a litre.

Experts say the recent hike in gas prices in B.C. and throughout Canada is primarily due to the cost of oil, which is being influenced by geopolitical tensions in Russia and Iran.

Head of Petroleum Analysis at Gasbuddy, Patrick De Haan, says the price of oil was recently pushed to a seven-year-high with West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil hitting a cost of $93 US per barrel.

Although tensions between Russia and Ukraine haven’t ceased, De Haan says the price of oil has started to decrease.

“We are now at about $89.5, a barrel, much of that really caught up in geopolitical tensions, mainly the situation in Russia, but in the last couple of days, We’ve seen potential interest in world powers making a new nuclear deal with Iran,” De Haan stated.

De Haan says a nuclear deal with Iran could bring more oil into the market if the US ends sanctions on Iran, but without being able to predict the outcomes of either issue, forecasting the future price of oil is extremely difficult.

De Haan says it’s normal to see prices at the pumps go up beginning in March and lasting through to May or June due to seasonal gas demands increasing as temperatures warm.

“We also switch back to more expensive summer gasoline and refineries generally go down for maintenance, which limits capacity for several weeks in late winter, early spring,” De Haan explained.

He says the seasonal switch generally pushes prices up by 15 to 35 cents a litre in the Spring.

While Canadians see record-breaking prices at the pumps, the US is seeing gas prices well under record levels; De Haan says there is a lot of factors.

“Obviously the price of oil, but the Canadian story is just weak currency, a lot of that has to do with fiscal policy out of Ottawa, and of course, the rise in GST and carbon taxes over the years,” De Haan explained.

He says those looking to decrease their costs in gas at the pumps should shop around for the lowest price in their area, as well as make changes in their driving habits such as driving more defensively, driving slower, and accelerating slower.

De Haan says “If every Canadian did that, we would likely see a noticeable impact on overall gasoline demand.”