Gas prices praise

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occasional thoughts
Grand Pooh-bah
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Gas prices praise

Post by occasional thoughts »

Everyone in our area who's ever commented herein about gas prices in the Central Okanagan has ripped into the industry for allegedly keeping prices in our region higher than almost everywhere else. Well, what about the unlikely opposite? I think some praise or at least recognition is due to the retailer(s) who are keeping our local prices at $1.25.9, at least for the time being. Trouble is, I don't know who should get the credit.

The usual suspects (Petro Canada, Shell) have aggressively tried to get the price up to $1.34.9 and, more recently, $1.28.9 only to have to lower their prices over and over, back to $1.25.9. This has been going on for a couple of weeks now. I thought the credit should maybe go to Esso, but then I found out the other day on my way to Big White that the Esso stations on Highway 33 in Rutland were both at $1.28.9, so the price war, such as it is, seems to be a Highway 97 thing. Is it SuperStore's gas bar that is forcing the prices down?

I myself am no fan of or apologist for big oil, and I'd love to see a Royal Commission on the industry, but if you keep electing governments that are ideologically opposed to tampering with even monopolists or oligopolists, it ain't gonna happen. Meantime, credit where credit is due on our local front, even if its only for a brief time.
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Glacier
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Re: Gas prices praise

Post by Glacier »

I had to laugh the other day when gas prices were 125.9 in Kelowna, 132.9 in Vernon, and 128.9 in Penticton, and not one word from the usual suspects who believe Kelowna always gets the short end of the gasoline stick. It's funny how us humans take note when we're "getting screwed," but not so much when the shoe is on someone else's foot.

In that respect, your post is a breath of fresh air.
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grammafreddy
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Re: Gas prices praise

Post by grammafreddy »

Does anyone actually know exactly what the profit to the oil companies is?

Is it they who are making big bucks off gasoline or is it the government?

If gas was $1 a litre, who gets what percent of the sale of it? The retailer? The oil company? The governments through taxation at all levels?
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NAB
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Re: Gas prices praise

Post by NAB »

The weekly cross country price survey came out yesterday, and it would appear Victoria's price war is over as shown with a jump of 22 cents per litre since a week ago, so Kelowna's price of 1.27 and holding isn't really worth writing home about when gas could be bought in Victoria recently for 13 cents a litre cheaper than Kelowna (and in Vancouver for 16 cents more than Kelowna and almost 30 cents a litre more than Victoria. Since the various government tax components are for the most part based on cents per litre they don't change, ...so it should be obvious who is driving any changes in pricing based on local market conditions. Just look at the tax removed ("Excl. Taxes") columns for each product for the real comparisons between region centres, and compare week to week over time to see the ups and downs in each area (Often if prices are depressed in one area, they will be higher in another nearby to compensate). In terms of national average there has not been much overall change in prices at all in recent weeks.

The survey also shows the change in prices by city from the previous week, the tax included average pump price, and the price with taxes removed (hint, subtract one from the other and you get the tax hit per litre by region - and unlike other provinces, BC has different levels of tax depending on where you are, plus it has that darned province wide Carbon tax - itself going up again come July).

I suspect over the next week or two everything will get adjusted and stabilized in anticipation of the summer price run up if the local stars align properly - ....and it will be the major oil co's and local retail outlets and local market that determine where they go each week if anywhere - not the going price of oil futures.

The survey can be found here each week:
http://www.kentmarketingservices.com/dn ... &tabid=134

Edit to add: Note from the survey that the nation wide average tax removed pump price based on major centres as of yesterday was 93.4, and 1.328 when you add the taxes (your local results may be different depending on where you are). So at the moment nationally almost a constant 40 cents out of each litre is taxes, or approximately 30% of the current average retail price. In Vancouver taxes represent 46 cents out of each litre, and 32% of current pump price. Kelowna is 36 cents in taxes, or 29% of current pump price so that situation will probably not last long. The main difference I see is that Kelowna prices with tax removed is pretty much in line with similar in Alberta (indeed much of the country) at around 90 cents per litre. But the lower mainland and the Island are marching to a different drummer lately with taxes removed prices in the order of 6 cents per litre higher, ...but then most of their gas comes from a different source - mainly the Chevron refinery in the BC lower mainland I think.

Nab
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Grand Pooh-bah
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Re: Gas prices praise

Post by occasional thoughts »

I see (about an hour ago) that the usual suspects along Highway 97 in West Kelowna are trying for $1.32.9 again, and I also noted that the SStore gas bar was still at $1.25.9 so we'll have to see what happens. Eventually everyone of course will go up but it is interesting to see the dance play out. I also note another post on the Kelowna threads about some price fixing convictions and hefty fines in Ontario over gas prices.
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Captain Awesome
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Re: Gas prices praise

Post by Captain Awesome »

This is the first time I see "gas prices" and "praise" used in one sentence, to be honest.
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Grand Pooh-bah
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Re: Gas prices praise

Post by occasional thoughts »

It's for whoever has been keeping it at $1.25.9 for the last couple of weeks when the bad guys tried to raise it to $1.34.9.
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Glacier
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Re: Gas prices praise

Post by Glacier »

occasional thoughts wrote:I myself am no fan of or apologist for big oil, and I'd love to see a Royal Commission on the industry, but if you keep electing governments that are ideologically opposed to tampering with even monopolists or oligopolists,

Thankfully, we have never elected one of these governments - at least not since I first became politically aware some 20 years ago.

By my analysis (as posted in other threads), after-tax gas prices on the prairies are about the same as they are in the States. Unfortunately, here in the BC interior profit margins are significantly higher. The reason being there are only two refineries supplying us with fuel. It doesn't take a Royal Commission to figure out why prices aren't as competitive in Kelowna as they are in Lethbridge.

The big question is: are there a viable solutions?

20 years back there was a gas station in Riske Creek, BC, called Big-B if I recall correctly. It was located on the same corner that paralyzed Rick Hansen. Anyway, the owner would drive his gas truck down the a refinery in Washington State, so his prices were always very good. I'm not sure if the guy retired or went out of business, but I suspect the later since the most of the non-first nations gas stations in the Chilcotin have gone under as a result of the changing demographics and the HST-free gas the reserves now offer.

If someone were to start up a gas station in Kelowna with the intention of buying his gas independently down in Bellingham, would he be able to do so? Would the long arm of government even allow this? I believe Arco employed a method when they were operating up in BC. I wonder why they closed their BC operations? I take it that the big players on the Lower Mainland we happy to see them go! hmm, surely they wouldn't leave the country if they were making money here?
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Re: Gas prices praise

Post by NAB »

I gather the singing of praises about "low" Kelowna gas prices is now over? And look out for another round of price increases next Wednesday I would think. Looks like it could be a very pricy summer for gas in BC.

Nab
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Grand Pooh-bah
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Re: Gas prices praise

Post by occasional thoughts »

Au contraire. Someone out there is now keeping it down to $1.29.9 while the aggressors want to push it up to $1.33.9 and I think it might be the SuperStore outlets.

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