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Perfect Storm of Refinery Outages Causes Gas Prices to Soar in Indiana

Summer holidays for Indiana families are delayed for the time being as motorists wait for gas prices to fall. According to the website Gasbuddy.com, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in Indiana was $4.16 on Wednesday, well above the national average of $3.64 a gallon.

Economist Wally Tyner from Purdue University told The Associated Press that he has never seen such a large price gap between the average in Indiana, and the rest of the US.

He explained that “a perfect storm of refinery outages” has led to the soaring prices in the region. Scheduled maintenance work at BP’s Whiting refinery in northwestern Indiana and Exxon Mobil’s refinery in Illinois, two of the largest refineries in the US, have over run, reducing the supply of gasoline in the region. Then the Marathon oil refinery in Detroit suffered a fire near the end of April, compound the supply difficulties and sending prices up.

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“All these other things had been there, but then the Detroit fire was the straw that broke the camel's back. We've just had a series of unlucky draws,” he said.

The increased price at the pumps will make travelling much more expensive for the time being, and has led many families to delay their planned summer vacations in the hope that prices will fall soon.

Michael Green, a spokesman for AAA, has stated that “the sad fact is that motorists are in a wait-and-see mode, waiting for refineries to increase production. This is very frustrating for people taking their summer trips.”

Tyner estimates that it may take a few weeks for the refineries to start up again and begin operating at full capacity.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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  • Billiam on June 09 2013 said:
    Perhaps Mr. Tyner could comment on the weekly 20, 30, 40, 50 cent price spikes we have had to live with for the last twelve years. Seems any excuse is used to jack up prices. Oil refinery issues at a refinery in Oklahoma, our prices spike. The prices in OK don't change. Why? A refinery fire last year in California sent gas prices up in California and Indiana. Why? Hurricane Sandy hit New England last fall. Gas prices went up in New England and Indiana. Why? Indiana always seems to suffer through perfect storms on a regular basis. Nowhere else in the country does this happen. Why? Seems the RICO laws would apply here. And lets not limit it to the oil companies but also include the gasoline retailers.

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