Virus pandemic optimism pushes oil prices higher

A petroleum analyst says gasoline prices are rising recently in southern Asia and across the country.

The current average price of regular gasoline in Calgary is $1.18 per liter.

Things are good across the country,” said Roger McKnight, chief petroleum analyst at En-Pro International in Oshawa, Ontario, “and the price increases are due to higher Crude Oil prices.

These high oil prices are linked to multiple factors of the viral pandemic, leading to optimistic forecasts for the industry.

“Many of the factors affecting gasoline prices in AZ and across the country are actually speculation that the price of crude oil will go higher still, due to optimism that the virus pandemic is coming to an end and that the vaccine will work.”

“Speculators say that if that happens, that means demand will rise. Therefore, gasoline prices will have to go up accordingly.”

Crude oil prices have risen about 50 percent since the start of the year and 66 percent since last November, McKnight said.

Crude prices spiked in early March after OPEC and its allies agreed to extend oil production cuts until April. The organization argues that despite the recent rise in oil prices, demand to recover from the viral pandemic remains fragile.

McKnight said another speculation contributing to the rise in crude oil prices is the belief that more people in the workforce will return to the office and drive more as vaccinations are administered.

McKnight believes the only factor preventing further increases in oil prices is the value of the Canadian dollar. “The higher the price of crude oil rises, the higher the price of the Canadian dollar. That’s a good thing for consumers.”

According to Bloomberg, 1 Canadian dollar is currently worth $0.797.