Refinery Maintenance Could Influence Prices at the Pump
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Refinery maintenance this month is expected to be a major factor influencing gasoline markets, the Energy Department reported. Some analysts predict that refinery maintenance in April will be much more extensive than in recent years for distillation and upgrading units. The result could be significant inventory draws for gasoline in order to meet projected demand. “With gasoline inventories typically increasing by about 3 million barrels in April, a significant draw this month could represent a dramatic drop compared to average levels,” reported the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration. Such a decline could generate upward pressure on prices. However, if refinery maintenance isn’t as great as some predict --- and gasoline production keeps gasoline inventories from drawing this month –- the supply increase could restrict upward price pressure.