The development of gas prices in the coming weeks after a return to around US$2 per liter remains difficult to predict.
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“It’s always hard to predict. The holidays in the United States are starting, people will travel after July 4th (Independence Day in the United States), which could put pressure on the price of gasoline and push it up,” said Professor Normand Mousseau, specialist in energy issues and scientific Director of the Trottier Energy Institute at Polytechnique Montréal.
At the moment, a small drop in the price of a barrel of oil, which has fallen from about $120 to $110 on the international market, as well as a drop in refinery margins by 8-10 cents per liter allow motorists to take a little breather, explained Mr Mousseau in an interview with LCN on Monday.
According to him, the price of a liter of gasoline could rise soon, possibly by $2.10 a liter, but not to the $2.20 or $2.25 a liter motorists were experiencing this spring.
refineries, no taxes
Furthermore, the professor doesn’t believe that cutting gas taxes like Alberta or Ontario has chosen is a lasting solution.
“The refinery’s revenue, the margin they took in, went from 25 cents a liter to about 55 cents a liter. We’re talking about 30 cents more per liter without increasing production costs for the refineries,” he stated.
In his opinion, the government should help the poorest who are struggling to fill up with targeted programs, without giving up the financial good fortune through taxes.
“To say to ourselves that we are going to deprive ourselves of income on services to the citizens to compensate for the substantial profits of the oil companies, the refiners, is a bit inappropriate for me. […] Why does the government have to give the margin while the other players in the oil production chain line their pockets,” Professor Mousseau asked.
In any case, motorists must reckon with the fact that refueling will continue to be expensive. “We expect the demand for petrol to decline over a period of around 10 years for electric vehicles, so we will not see any significant investments to offset demand,” reminded the expert.