Gasoline prices, which had held steady recently, soared unexpectedly this week -- shooting up 20 to 40 cents in some parts of Illinois.After which, we can no doubt expect Chicagoland's gasoline prices to plunge.
Experts blame the price increase on recent shutdowns at Midwest refineries, among other factors.
The increase in gas prices varies across the state, AAA spokeswoman Nicole Niemi said Wednesday. But Chicagoans might be hit with the 40-cent price spike, said Dave Sykuta, executive director of Illinois Petroleum Council. ***
One Midwest refinery that has suffered recent production problems is the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind. After it shut down a 235,000-barrel-a-day processing unit, the Chicago area's supply of gas suffered, Sykuta said. ***
A source at the refinery said Wednesday that the unit that has been shut down should be up and running by the end of the week and reach normal productivity by next week.
UPDATE - Are you starting to notice a pattern?
People in Kansas City woke up Wednesday to see gas prices 10-cents higher than they were Tuesday night.Summertime + Gas Prices Too Low = Fuel Refinery Failure
In Minneapolis, the overnight spike was 8-cents.
Gas prices at some St. Louis area stations jumped to $3.20. from under $2.80 the night before.
Analysts say much of the blame belongs to last week's floods that closed this refinery in Kansas.
The Coffeyville Resources Refinery produced more than 100,000 barrels of gasoline a day, about one-seventh of the supply for the Great Plains.
FINAL UPDATE - From your Chicago Tribune:
The massive BP oil refinery in Whiting, Ind., is planning to dump significantly more ammonia and industrial sludge into Lake Michigan, running counter to years of efforts to clean up the Great Lakes.First they screw you, then they take a dump on you.
Indiana regulators exempted BP from state environmental laws to clear the way for a $3.8 billion expansion that will allow the company to refine heavier Canadian crude oil.
It's worse than an R. Kelly video.