High Midwest Gas Prices Blamed on Tight Supply, Refinery Mainten - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

High Midwest Gas Prices Blamed on Tight Supply, Refinery Maintenance

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Courtesy: AAA, 05-20-13 Courtesy: AAA, 05-20-13

The national average price of gasoline has increase almost 10 cents a gallon in just the past week, but the nation's heartland is seeing the biggest uptick thanks to refinery maintenance and tight supply.

According to AAA, higher crude oil prices are affecting everyone, but tight regional supplies and refinery maintenance – both planned and unplanned – are the reason for the dramatically higher pump prices in the Midwest and West Coast.

According to GasBuddy.com, refinery issues have curtailed fuel production in Oklahoma, Kansas, Indiana and Illinois leading to the rocketing prices across the Plains and Great Lakes regions. The price tracking website is reporting that Minnesota now has the highest average price for a gallon of gas, a designation usually belonging to California or New York.

"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 at GasBuddy.

DeHaan warns that states in the Great Lakes and Plains regions should expect to see additional increases of 10 to 20 cents more in the week leading up to Memorial Day. 

GasBuddy's Gregg Laskoski added, "Until recently, fuel prices for most of the country had been well below last-year's levels… now we're expecting the mid-continent prices to moderate while we're also seeing other regions increase incrementally, closing the gap between last year's and current prices."

Average retail gasoline prices in Nebraska rose 38 cents per gallon last week, averaging $4.06 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 1,150 gas outlets in Nebraska. Comparatively, the national average rose 8.9 cents per gallon in the same span to $3.67 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.

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