The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

May 17, 2013

Many are wondering why

Prices at pump for gasoline in Oklahoma have taken a sharp jump upward

ENID, Okla. — Gas prices in Enid and across Oklahoma recently have jumped sharply and many people are wondering why.

The average price Friday in Oklahoma for self-service regular gasoline was $3.813, according to AAA

AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai said in a news release earlier this week the reason for the spike is difficult to pinpoint. He said rising prices for crude oil and tight gas supplies don’t fully explain the increase.

“Typically, because of the state’s low gas tax, proximity to the product and abundance of fueling stations, Oklahoma enjoys one of the lowest averages in the country,” Mai said. “To tell you the truth, we’re a little puzzled why Oklahoma’s gas prices are as high as they are. Crude oil prices are higher and supplies are tight due to refinery maintenance — both planned and unplanned — but that still doesn’t explain the disparity between Oklahoma’s prices and those of other states.”

Many media outlets are reporting issues with refineries in the country are one cause for the recent price spike in the Midwest part of the country.

KWTV reported the HollyFrontier refinery is down for maintenance.

The Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune reported the closure of two Chicago-area refineries for repairs also has pushed prices higher. The Springfield (Ill.) State Journal-Register reported the problems were at the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind., and the Citgo refinery in the Chicago suburb of Lemont, according to AAA Chicago spokeswoman Beth Mosher.

“With the supply from these refineries impacted, and the associated increase in wholesale prices already seen in the region, there is reason to suspect that prices in the areas supplied by these facilities may continue to rise until the situation is resolved,” Mosher said.

According to AAAFuel, only 13 states have higher average gas prices than Oklahoma. Those states are Alaska, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.

Minnesota has the second-highest average price, $4.149, trailing only Hawaii, where the average price for regular gas is $4.353.

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