With files from Cooper Douglas

Gas prices in west-central Saskatchewan have skyrocketed for the last two months.

During the second week of January, the provincial average price was $1.25 per litre, the lowest gas had been since June of 2021. Two plus months later, prices have jumped about $0.27 per litre and locally closer to $0.30 per litre.

The continued increases of around $0.05 per litre began in late January thanks to extreme cold weather blanketing much of the United States, where the majority of refineries are located, and causing unexpected refinery disruptions.

"Since then, we've also seen other refineries starting their seasonal maintenance, which happens before the summer driving season," said Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis with GasBuddy. "In addition, demand for gasoline is going up as temperatures slowly start to rise and Canadians are getting out more."

Summer gasoline is already being produced at the refinery level and could begin to reach local gas stations within the next couple of weeks. The change in gasoline blends could push prices up about $0.05 to $0.10 per litre.

"It's more so the disruption of some areas in Canada making a switch to something that's slightly different and supplied by different areas," he said.

According to De Haan, prices tend to plateau in April and May. Although the seasonal blend switch costs $0.05 to $0.10 per litre more, mixed with the carbon tax hike of $0.03 per litre more might push prices again.

"I'm hoping that we will see prices peaking for the time being at or under $1.60 per litre," he said. "If there are unexpected disruptions or situations in the Middle East we could go a bit higher than that. We're getting close to the seasonal end of prices and we should see a bit of relief beyond that."

Regular gas in Kindersley and Rosetown is currently over at over $1.54/L. Kerrobert is currently at $1.56/L. Unity stations are reporting a little lower at $1.52/L.