Several factors are driving up gas prices, none of which is Ian

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Gas prices in West Michigan have skyrocketed over the past week, and a petroleum analyst from GasBuddy said they are not going to fall any time soon.

“We’re back above the $4 a gallon average in West Michigan. The average now (as of Monday afternoon) is about $4.14 a gallon. That’s up from about $3.98 a week ago and unfortunately I don’t think the news is going to get much better,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddysaid.

De Haan said he expects prices to rise even higher over the next day or two, reaching between $4.29 and $4.39 a gallon.

Several factors are contributing to this – and none of them is Hurricane Ian.

“All of this is happening because of refining issues that continue to dog the Great Lakes region,” he said.

In August, an electrical fire broke out at BP’s Whiting, Indiana, refinery, shutting down the refinery. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed one supreme command In response, caps and restrictions on the hours car transporters and drivers can drive when hauling petrol and diesel have been lifted. That was suspended on September 15, when the US Environmental Protection Agency’s summer gasoline rule ended.

Two weeks ago, a BP refinery outside of Toledo, Ohio caught fire, killing two workers.

“This refinery is fully closed and could be closed by the end of the year,” De Haan said, adding that this could keep our prices higher than other regions.

Because there are refineries across the country, De Haan said other regions could be popping up to fill the shortage – but it could take up to a week for the gasoline to reach the Great Lakes region.

In addition to the impact on refineries, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to announce that it will reduce its oil production to as much as one million barrels a day, De Haan said.

“We’ve seen oil prices up about $4 a barrel today on the likelihood and perception that OPEC will continue to cut,” he said.

Even if multiple factors push up gas prices, De Haan doesn’t expect gas prices in West Michigan to reach $5 a gallon unless there’s a “major hurricane or refining issues at multiple refineries.” We also use winter petrol, which is of course cheaper.

“(That) makes it a little bit easier to overcome these refinery problems,” explains De Haan. Several factors are driving up gas prices, none of which is Ian

Dais Johnston

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