The price of a litre of gasoline jumped again in Montreal

Canadian petroleum analyst Dan Mc Teague says residents in the Greater Toronto Area should prepare for higher gas prices in the coming weeks

Hurricane Harvey, which is now pummelling Texas with rain, is to blame for the uptick in gas prices in the Montreal area.

Hurricane Harvey, which wiped out almost a quarter of USA gas-refining capacity when it inundated parts of Texas and Louisiana, is sending gas prices up across the U.S.

By the end of day, that's exactly what happened, at least in Sudbury, with prices reaching $1.28.9 litre at many stations in the city.

Thursdays price at the pumps in the Greater Toronto Area was about 119.0 cents a litre — but was expected to hit 124 cents a litre on Friday and then soar to a projected 132 cents a litre on Saturday. At the start of the week, prices were about $1.14 a litre.

Motorists awoke to a hike of about five cents a litre on Friday, and can expect the price to rise another nine cents on Saturday, says petroleum analyst Dan McTeague.

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In Western Canada, prices also leapt based on oil trading in Chicago, said Mr. McTeague.

He said gas retailers usually have a buffer, which is why there was a delay in the jump of prices, but by Tuesday, there will be some significant increases.

"We don't have enough supply in Canada and that's an argument I've made for some time", he said.

It could always be worse, however - McTeague said prices rose in Ontario and Quebec by 20 cents a litre across the board. "This story will go on for the entire month of September and it will mean higher prices than what we are paying now on average and that will probably maintain with higher prices for the entire month of September until refineries can get back up and running". However, most of the change is being driven by pessimistic speculation on the part of oil traders in the Northeast, he said, adding that it's too early to say whether there will actually be a shortage in the U.S.

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