Gas has dropped below one dollar per litre in the Parksville Qualicum Beach Area. (Michael Briones photo)

Gas prices drop below $1 per litre in Central Vancouver Island area

‘There’s plenty more room for prices to drop’

For the first time in recent memory, you can fill up your gas tank in most towns on central Vancouver Island for less than a buck a litre.

Gas prices at many stations from Courtenay to Duncan are were selling at below one dollar per litre, reports gasbuddy.com, effective March 25. Motorists could be seen filling up as the cost at the pumps plunged.

“It’s exceptionally rare to see gas prices go under a dollar,” said Wayne Pike, owner of PetroCanada in Parksville. “I can’t really remember the last time this happened.”

Pike believes the dip in the gas cost is due to a lower consumer demand for gas. He said there’s less travelling right now due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

READ MORE: Vancouver Island gas prices drop amid COVID-19 pandemic

GasBuddy, which monitors gas prices, also credits the current coronavirus crisis as the reason prices in March have been going down and expects the trend to continue.

Its head of petroleum analysis, Patrick DeHaan, said in a GasBuddy news report the pandemic is destroying oil demand globally “leading to the lowest oil prices we’ve seen in 18 years.”

In Nanaimo, the lowest gas price noted on GasBuddy as of March 25 was 96.9 cents per litre.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a collapse in prices, even including the Great Recession,” DeHaan said. “What we’re witnessing is easily going to go down as the great collapse in oil demand, and for motorists hurrying to fill up today, they’re wasting their money as prices will continue to drop in the days ahead. Gas stations are passing along the drop several weeks behind, and there’s plenty more room for prices to drop.”

The lowest prices listed at gasbuddy.com by Island community as of 2:30 p.m. March 25:

Port Hardy 122.9

Campbell River 107.9

Comox Valley 99.9

Ucluelet 115.0

Parksville 98.9

Port Alberni 105.9

Nanaimo 96.9

Ladysmith 99.9

Duncan 98.9

Victoria 112.9

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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