What caused Indiana's sudden spike in gas prices?
Gas prices in Indiana skyrocketed well above the national average this week. The sudden, localized surge of gas prices was the result of a "perfect storm of refinery outages."
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. (Related Articles: Using an MOF to Produce Cheaper Premium Gasoline)
“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.
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