Drivers in Salmon Arm and throughout the North Okanagan-Shuswap saw the cost per litre of regular gasoline begin to spike on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

Drivers in Salmon Arm and throughout the North Okanagan-Shuswap saw the cost per litre of regular gasoline begin to spike on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

Anticipated surge in gas prices rolls through North Okanagan-Shuswap

International Energy Agency releases 60 million barrels from emergency reserve

The anticipated price spike at the gas pumps began rolling through the North Okanagan-Shuswap Tuesday.

At some stations in the region, the cost per litre of regular jumped on March 1 from around 152.9 cents to above the 170 mark. Several stations in Vernon were at 178.9.

The price varied between Salmon Arm stations, with the highest at 176.9. In Revelstoke it was as high as 177.9.

It is believed 178.9 is the highest recorded price in the North Okanagan.

Reports on GasBuddy.com showed the price per litre in the Lower Mainland reaching as high as 179.9, after recently surpassing 180.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine it was predicted gas prices would rise across Canada and the U.S.

High demand for oil and a shortage of supply had already been pushing up prices.

On the same day gas prices began to spike in the North Okanagan-Shuswap, the International Energy Agency (IEA), of which Canada is a member, announced it would be making 60 million barrels of oil available to “send a strong message to global oil markets that there will be no shortfall in supplies as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

According to a March 1 media release, IEA members hold emergency stockpiles of 1.5 billion barrels.

“The announcement of an initial release of 60 million barrels, or four per cent of those stockpiles, is equivalent to two million barrels a day for 30 days,” reads the release.

The release notes Russia is the third largest oil producer of oil in the world and the largest exporter, with around 60 per cent of Russia’s oil exports going to Europe and another 20 per cent to China.

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