A gas war in Courtenay has some drivers in the mid-Island wondering if it’s going to spread and affect prices in Parksville and Qualicum Beach, but at least one company says that’s not likely to happen.
Deidre Reid, a spokesperson for Chevron Canada out of Vancouver, said a new seller of fuel in Courtenay (Cosco) entered the market with low, introductory gas prices. As of earlier this week, the price per litre there was 107.2 to 107.4 cents.
Reid said those prices are well below the normal rate elsewhere in Vancouver Island — such as the 127.1 cents per litre in Parksville and similar pricing in Nanaimo. She added she doesn’t expect the lower prices in Courtenay to last long.
“Due to the new entrant, sales are at low prices,” she said, “so we have to keep up with those for our customers there.”
Gas in the range of 125.9 cents per litre and up is in the range of normal, she said, taking into consideration crude oil costs and government taxes — including the recently increased carbon tax in B.C. that adds another 1.11 cents to the price if one litre of regular gasoline.
That hike on July 1, means the carbon taxes on a litre of gas in B.C. amount to 5.56 cents. On July 1, 2012, it will go up again, to 6.67 cents per litre.
Reid said in the short term, gas prices will stay very competitive in Courtenay.
“It’s hard to say how long it’ll last, but economic realities means that it probably won’t hit $1 (per litre) or lower again.
“So, definitely fill up when you see those lower prices.”
For current gas prices on the Island or just about anywhere in B.C., see www.bcgasprices.com.