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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Fort St. John’s gas prices are expected to lower in the coming weeks, but some parts of B.C. are already enjoying cheaper gas prices.

The lowest price for gas in B.C. is currently in Salmon Arm, with prices ranging from $134.9 to $164.9.

According to GasBuddy, the lowest price in Fort St. John is $165.1, and the highest is $180.9 for regular fuel.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said the difference depends on the speed at which communities lower their gas prices.

“In areas, some of them bring down prices very aggressively, some of them not so much,” De Haan said.

“There can be an incredible difference as prices decline with how quickly gas bars are passing along the savings.”

He said all it takes is an “aggressive” station lowering prices.

“But obviously, it’s in a station’s interest to go a little bit slower because they can absorb some of the savings before they pass them along,” he explained.

“Where there are fewer stations, there’s probably less of a desire to lower prices quickly.”

De Haan said this may have happened due to the price surge earlier in 2022, and some gas bars will sell at or below cost because they cannot raise their prices as quickly as the costs go up.

When the prices go down again, those same gas bars are slower to decrease their prices so they can recoup what was lost, according to De Haan.

Another factor as to why prices are higher in smaller communities than in bigger cities, De Haan said, may be due to the volume of gas being sold.

“If a gas bar bought fuel a week ago at a much higher price, they’re going to be a little bit reluctant and slow to lower their price so they can sell through some of the existing fuel that they had bought at a higher price,” he explained.

De Haan said he thinks there may be more room for the prices to drop over the next week or two and that diesel prices, especially, will continue falling.

“After that, gas prices will have kind of caught up to the drop in the price of oil.”

However, De Haan is not sure where prices will go in the new year due to the number of factors that could “change at a moment’s notice.”

The lockdown in China has been a large factor in the decline of the price of oil.

“If China reverses the policy of locking down, that could cause more oil consumption, and that could cause prices to go up as well,” De Haan said.

He also said Russia’s war in Ukraine is an additional factor to consider due to Russia’s sanctions on oil. Globally, he said there are a lot of economic concerns with inflation “running very rampant.”

De Haan explained that many central banks are acting to raise interest rates, which stifles growth.

“If it’s not done perfectly, we could see some economies slip into recessions,” DeHaan said.

“It’s uncertain what could develop beyond the next couple of weeks. On the flip side, I am hopeful that records we’ve set in 2022 will not be broken in 2023.”

Typically, he said that gas prices tend to begin going up in late February, ahead of the spring and summer seasons.

De Haan said his job this year has been more about predicting what would happen politically rather than about his oil analysis skills.

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca. Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.