Nanticoke refinery returning to full capacity
Imperial Oil doesn't believe gas prices will climb higher as a result of a shutdown at its Nanticoke refinery on Friday.
Company spokesman Robert Theberge said Monday that some of the units affected by a power outage have come back online and are again producing gasoline.
Imperial Oil is hoping all units will be up and running by Wednesday.
Theberge doesn't expect a disruption in the delivery of fuel to the hundreds of gas stations the Nanticoke plant supplies. Nanticoke accounts for about 25 per cent of the company's total refining capacity.
After prices at the pumps jumped to nearly $1.08 a litre across the Greater Toronto Area over the weekend, the refinery problem sparked fears costs would shoot up another three or four cents.
A fire at the Nanticoke refinery in mid-February crippled production in Ontario and drove up gas prices.
Many Esso stations ran out of fuel entirely, which led to shortages at competitors Shell and Petro-Canada.
Drivers saw gas prices soar from the mid-80-cent range to more than $1 a litre.
Industry analysts expect gas prices to increase soon because the busy summer driving season is approaching.
A report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives last week said Canadians are being gouged at the pumps across the country by as much as 27 cents a litre.
The study found an unjustified hike in prices after Hurricane Katrina when taking into account the cost of crude oil, production and profit margins before the devastating hurricane.
Opposition parties demanded the federal government take action following the report.
The Competition Bureau, meanwhile, says there is no proof of collusion in Canada's oil industry.
With a report from CTV's Paul Bliss