Gasoline prices in Oklahoma spiked a bit last week as problems struck several refineries in the region.
The average price of gasoline is up 3.2 cents over the past four days, AAA Oklahoma said Monday, after they briefly dipped below $3 in some areas.
Prices continue to fall in much of the country, but Oklahoma is one of a handful of states to feel the pinch of the refinery issues.
Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said prices in the Midwest could rise an additional 10 cents a gallon over the next week.
“The issues may linger for several weeks as the refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, is likely to see low yields until September,” DeHaan said.
There was a fire at the CVR Refining LP refinery on July 29 that left four employees hospitalized. The refinery, which is capable of producing 115,000 barrels of refined products a day, has been shut down since the fire.
Operational issues also have impacted production at HollyFrontier’s refinery in El Dorado, Kan., BP’s refinery in Whiting, Ind., and ExxonMobil’s refinery in Joliet, Ill.
Combined, those four refineries account for nearly 900,000 barrels of refined products a day, according to GasBuddy. They are currently producing less than half that amount.
AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai said the association’s scouts have indicated that Oklahoma’s gasoline prices already have leveled off for the time being.
Mai said state gas prices should come back down soon, thanks to the pending switch to cheaper winter-blend gasoline and the expected resumption of normal activity at the affected refineries.
GasBuddy also emphasized that higher prices in the Midwest are not part of a new long-term trend.
“You’ll see some price increases after 40 days of steady decreases, but this is not a second wind for lofty gas prices,” Tom Kloza, GasBuddy’s chief oil analyst, said last week in a news release. “We may see sub-$3 (per gallon) prices disappear in some states where they popped up recently, but those numbers will be back in autumn.”
State’s car owners see costs
Oklahoma is the 13th most expensive state to operate a motor vehicle, according to a new Bankrate.com report. The report accounted for the cost of gasoline, insurance and repairs in each state. It pegged the cost in Oklahoma at $2,352 a year. The national average was $2,223. Iowa ranked as the cheapest state to operate a car at $1,942 a year.