Prices at the pump in Cochrane are on the rise, on Friday Aug. 12, gasoline in Cochrane cost as much as 105.9/ L.
In other parts of Southern Alberta that is not the case, prices throughout the region are all over the map, with some areas seeing prices as low as 86 cents/ L, and some as high as 1.09/L.
Dan McTeague, Senior Petroleum Analyst, GasBuddy Canada, says the difference in prices is all due to retailers choosing to make more or less profit, as all stations pay the same benchmark price.
"So the real difference right now is retail margin, some stations are priced at at 86 cents/L, not taking much in the way of operating costs, and others charging as much as 15, 16 cents. So depending where you are, it's very hard to pinpoint where there's consistency in price."
McTeague explains some retailers may be bumping prices because a shift in benchmark pricing could be coming soon.
"Perhaps some retailers are taking a more defensive approach because of what's happening right now. U.S. Refineries are producing less gasoline, I think they recognize that demand wasn't there, and there's a lot of gasoline in the system, so a lot of those refineries in the U.S. are throttling down on production which might send prices up dramatically."
He explains the wide range of pricing in Southern Alberta is unusual to see, but as gas drops by 2 cents/L one night and rises again the other, stations must create profit stability.
"When you see that kind of volatility in prices a lot of gas stations tend to simply maintain their prices at a level where they don't have to worry about it."
McTeague shares as seasons begin to change, volatility will continue on the refinery front.
"It's the refiners that know they are running out of runway if you will, the summer driving season is going to be over in a couple of weeks, and with that of course also the change in fuel blends, the summer gasoline will change over to winter gasoline, which is much cheaper to make."