Global demand, refinery maintenance cause gasoline prices to rise in Oklahoma

Lower prices to begin the year didn't last long as the average price of gasoline in Oklahoma rose about 50 cents in the past month. AAA Oklahoma expects prices to continue rising as refineries shut down temporarily for maintenance.
by Paul Monies Published: February 26, 2013

Refinery maintenance and global economic indicators haven't done Oklahoma drivers any favors as the price of gasoline has risen about 50 cents in the past month.

Prices in the Oklahoma City area averaged $3.59 for a gallon of regular early Monday, according to AAA. It was a penny more in the Tulsa area.

This time last year, a gallon of regular gasoline cost about $3.42 in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai said averages declined slightly in Oklahoma over the weekend, but the dip could be short-lived. The national average declined a fraction of a penny Saturday, the first time it declined since Jan. 16. It was $3.78 per gallon on Monday.

“It's been on a steady climb ever since mid-January,” Mai said. “I think it's been driven by crude oil prices and the perception in the commodities markets that worldwide, and in this country to some extent, we're seeing economies rebound.”

Mai said the latest federal report on petroleum showed supplies of oil and gasoline are ample to meet gasoline demand, which typically falls in the winter months. But refineries are switching to their summer blends of gasoline earlier than normal, he said.

“That always involves being down for two or three weeks as they ramp down, clear out and gear up to produce the reformulated fuels required by the EPA during the summer months,” Mai said. “It's a little bit earlier than usual. Typically that transition has taken place during late March, April or early May. This year it began late January and early February, and it's continuing now.”

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by Paul Monies
Energy Reporter
Paul Monies is an energy reporter for The Oklahoman. He has worked at newspapers in Texas and Missouri and most recently was a data journalist for USA Today in the Washington D.C. area. Monies also spent nine years as a business reporter and...
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It's been on a steady climb ever since mid-January. I think it's been driven by crude oil prices and the perception in the commodities markets that worldwide, and in this country to some extent, we're seeing economies rebound.”

Chuck Mai,
AAA Oklahoma spokesman

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