Chesterton Tribune



GasBuddy warning drivers to brace for spike in gasoline price

Back To Front Page is reporting that gasoline prices are rising faster in the Great Lakes states--Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky--than anywhere else in the country and “may soon rise to their highest since 2015.”

The main drivers: refinery maintenance, a major pipeline outage, and low gasoline inventories.

“Part of the blame could even be placed on long-gone Hurricane Harvey, as some refiners pushed back maintenance to cover production losses from the affected area,” GasBuddy said on Wednesday. “Now with Harvey gone, that pushed back maintenance is colliding with other planned maintenance that was also planned leading to a condensed maintenance season. Second, the Explorer Pipeline, with the capacity of nearly 700,000 barrels per day, sustained a leak last week, interrupting the ability for relief supplies to be sent from the Gulf Coast. Third, all of these issues have pushed gasoline inventories to their lowest levels in more than two years.”

Wholesale gasoline prices have seen an impressive rally in the last week, rising nearly 50 cents per gallon, including another double-digit gain on the market (on Wednesday) in response to continued tightness in the region. “The issue is also causing gas prices to skyrocket in areas of Canada as well,” GasBuddy said. “A major problem that the Great Lakes doesn't have that other regions do: the ability to resupply via waterborne shipments and pipeline deliveries.”

“It appears that due to the continued rise, hikes that have already happened in these areas have not covered the full jump of the rise in wholesale cost,” GasBuddy added. “Prices in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois could soon jump to their highest levels since BP's refinery outage in August 2015. GasBuddy estimates gas prices could soon rise to $2.99 in Michigan, $2.95 in Indiana and $2.89 in Ohio and Kentucky. Prices in Illinois, mainly around Chicago, could exceed $3 per gallon.”

“Relief will come eventually, once the Explorer Pipeline is repaired which is expected to be fixed within days,” GasBuddy said. “Even then, it will take days for gasoline flows to return to normal. The problem of refinery maintenance will still linger.”



Posted 11/2/2017




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