NPR logo
Closure Of BP Refinery Sends Gasoline Prices Soaring In The Midwest
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/432280655/432280656" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Closure Of BP Refinery Sends Gasoline Prices Soaring In The Midwest

Energy

Closure Of BP Refinery Sends Gasoline Prices Soaring In The Midwest

Closure Of BP Refinery Sends Gasoline Prices Soaring In The Midwest
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/432280655/432280656" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Gasoline prices in the Midwest are up sharply even as oil prices head down. The problem is unscheduled repairs at a big BP refinery in Indiana.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

If you're listening to us in the Midwest, you might be wondering, what's this talk about low oil prices? Gas prices there are up and up sharply. Well, that's because parts of a huge refinery in Indiana have been shut down, and if the disruption lasts long enough, NPR's Jeff Brady reports, its effects could reverberate beyond the Midwest.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: A gallon of regular gas in Chicago sells for about 50 cents more today than it did a week ago. At a station on the North Side, Elena Marcheschi has noticed.

ELENA MARCHESCHI: I've just retired, and it's going to be a big impact in my life.

BRADY: Marcheschi was planning to take the bus, but she needs to go to the doctor, and that wasn't convenient.

MARCHESCHI: I didn't have a choice today, but I will be driving less.

BRADY: At the same station, James Armour says he's ready for gas prices to start following oil prices down.

JAMES ARMOUR: I use my car every day to get work, and I'm in my car every day for work. So it'd be great if this refinery could get fixed.

BRADY: Oil company BP last Saturday shut down part of its Whiting, Ind., refinery for, quote, "unscheduled repair work." That's about as specific as refineries get about their operations. BP says it's fixing the problem. Meantime, the Midwest has missed out on low oil prices. Tom Kloza is the global head of energy analysis for the firm Oil Prince Information Service.

TOM KLOZA: We're flirting with the six-year lows for crude oil, and yet, in certain parts of the country, people are seeing gasoline price spikes of 10, 15, 20 or even 50 cents a gallon in the upper Midwest.

BRADY: Kloza says gas doesn't store well, so it's refined not long before it's burned in your car. Any disruption at refinery sends suppliers scrambling to secure enough fuel to fill their tanks. They bid up prices in the process. Kloza expects Chicago and the rest of the country will see lower gas prices soon, certainly next month when refineries switch over to their winter blends which are less expensive to produce.

KLOZA: And that combined with people driving less after Labor Day should create a much more balanced market.

BRADY: Kloza says if low oil prices hold, gasoline likely will fall to a national average of just above $2 a gallon in coming months. Jeff Brady, NPR News.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.