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Drivers face a spike at the pumps

Denise Andreacchi, reporter
April 5, 2012 — Gas prices continue to climb leaving drivers frustrated at the pumps. How does the change in seasons affect the price?

Drivers feel the pinch at the pumps
Drivers feel the pinch at the pumps

The price of gas has been a hot topic in recent weeks and the change in season may be one explanation for the skyrocketing prices.

Earlier this month, the line-ups were long when a gas station in Toronto sold gas at fifty cents a litre. It was a special promotion that had some drivers waiting two hours for their chance to save at the pumps.

Meanwhile, prices nearly everywhere else topped $1.30 a litre and they could hit $1.50 a litre this summer.

The list of reasons for the spike is long, but there is a seasonal component.

Energy companies typically conduct maintenance on their refineries at this time of year. That disrupts the supply of oil and gas until late May. Natural disasters, especially in the gulf of Mexico, can affect transport, and damage refineries .

Summer grade fuel is also more expensive to produce than winter grade. It has to burn cleaner to help compensate for the seasonal oil shortage and that ultimately contributes to higher prices at the pumps.

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