OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says gasoline sales continued to rise for the third year in a row in 2011, even as the price at the pump also shot up.
The agency says gross sales of gasoline rose to 42.1 billion litres last year — a 1.5 per cent increase from 2010.
That's at the same time the average price at the pump jumped to $1.24 per litre in 2011 from $1.04 per litre the year before — an increase of 19.2 per cent.
Gross gas sales were up in all parts of the country except Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories.
Drivers in Ontario and Quebec combined for more than half the country's gross gasoline consumption in 2011, while those in Alberta made up 14.2 per cent of all gas sales.
Gas sales peaked during the busy summer driving months of July and August.
1. Crude Oil Prices
It starts with crude oil. Although Canada may produce more oil than it consumes, the country is at the mercy of global markets for the commodity. Increased Middle East instability, sparked by popular uprisings, has lead to concerns about supply. Better-than-expected economic growth, especially in developing nations such as China and India, has also increased demand. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
2. Refining Oil into Gas
The next link in the supply chain is refining. In order to turn thick, black crude oil into useful products such as gasoline, diesel, heating oil and jet fuel, it must be sent through a mind-boggling array of pipes and tanks, heaters and condensers to sort the components of the substance from lightest to heaviest. This is a complex and costly process, and is paid for by what is known as the "crack spread," or refining margin. This represents the difference between prices fetched for the products produced, and the cost of crude oil inputs.. (AP File Photo)
3. Transportation to Retailers
Once the oil has been refined into gasoline, it must be transported to retail outlets across the country. This is accomplished through a network of 23 terminals - from St. John's to Nanaimo, B.C. -- forming the backbone of the distribution network. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
4. Retail Mark-Up
The retail mark-up averaged 7.6 cents per litre in April. This national average masks wide variation, from lows of 4.6 cents in Calgary up to highs of 25.8 cents in Whitehorse, according to Kent Marketing Services, an industry consulting group. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
5.Taxes at the Pump
Emily Corbett of Mechanicville, N.Y., pump gas at a station in Mechanicville, on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. New York, Indiana, Illinois and New Hampshire are among the first states talking about temporarily suspending part or all of the state and local taxes that can add 14 cents to nearly 50 cents to a gallon of gas. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)