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Here's why Metro Vancouver gas prices shot up overnight, and when they'll drop again

Find out what to expect next and where to get the cheapest gas, too.
Metro Vancouver gas prices climbed in September 2023 due to a tropical storm in Southern California and oil refinery maintenance.

Metro Vancouver gas prices surged for a second time this week, climbing by nine cents at the pumps overnight on Wednesday, Sept. 27. 

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said the initial spike, which saw prices increase from around 199.9 cents per litre to 204.5 cents per litre on Friday, Sept. 22, isn't related to the latest surge. 

"Now we've gone up another step," he told V.I.A. "This was nine cents and we could see another five to eight-cent spike over the next few days."

Local gas prices started increasing on Monday, but prices saw their most dramatic jump, climbing to 214.9 cents per litre, overnight on Wednesday. 

Why did gas prices go up?

Oil refinery issues in southern California continue to impact the Western Canadian market, De Haan explained.

Two refineries, responsible for the production of half a million barrels of oil, were hit by a tropical storm that slowed their operations. Downtown Los Angeles received a record amount of rainfall on Aug. 22, with 2.48 inches of rainfall. The previous wettest day was Aug. 17, 1977, when 2.06 inches of rain was recorded, according to the National Weather Service's Los Angeles bureau. 

But the issues resulting from the storm coincide with an important time of year for the L.A. refineries. 

In the fall, refineries in California conduct maintenance, when it is considered "shoulder season" in the industry, De Haan explained, adding that this process takes place over roughly two months.

There may be a "bit more pain" from ongoing work and weather impacts, "but there is a light at the end of the tunnel," he added. 

When will locals see some respite from the sky-high costs?

Da Haan expects prices will fall "below $2 per litre by mid to late October," but prices should ease sometime over the weekend. He notes that "all it takes is a little bit" of improvement south of the border for prices to let up. 

Where to find the cheapest Metro Vancouver gas prices

As of 1 p.m. on Thursday, locals looking for cheap gas can fill up their tanks for under $2 per litre at the Co-op on 104 Ave. in Vancouver, according to 

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Aside from that option, there are several outlets offering gas for just over the $2 mark, including one in Vancouver for 204.9 cents per litre. The other low-cost options include places in Aldergrove, Pitt Meadows, and Langley.

Photo via