CHICAGO, Ill. – The national average price of gasoline has increased 9.5 cents a gallon this past week and even though many believe that the likely culprit is the upcoming holiday weekend, there are other factors for the price surge.
Gas prices tend to go up this time of year, however, despite hesitant consumer demand across the country, gas prices are rising rapidly due to refinery problems that have severely reduced supply from four refineries to the mid-continent and Great Lakes region.
With refinery issues diminishing fuel production in Oklahoma, Kansas, Indiana and Illinois, it’s the Midwest that is experiencing the nation’s worst price instability, so much so that Minnesota has now taken the top spot for the highest priced gas in the continental U.S.
“There’s no doubt that many markets in the upper Midwest and mid-continent regions may reach new record high prices in the days ahead while some records going back to the run-up of 2008 have already been broken this past week,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst, GasBuddy.
“With Memorial Weekend approaching we anticipate lesser price activity along the coastal regions; perhaps some nominal increases in major travel corridors,” DeHaan added, “but the mid-Continent and Great Lakes region should be ready for additional increases of 10 to 20 cents more in the week ahead.”