Refinery issues in certain parts of the country could increase prices in California and the Midwest in the near future even though prices overall are down from last year, according to the latest fuel prices report from AAA.
A glitch at a Chevron refinery in El Segundo, Calif., caused a temporary shutdown, the effect of which could be magnified due to other refineries in California shutting down due to either unplanned repairs or seasonal maintenance, according to AAA. In addition, an electrical fire at ConocoPhilipps’ Wood River refinery in Roxana, Ill., shut down production.
Moving to overall prices, AAA reported that the national average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline is $3.30 as of Tuesday, Jan. 15. This price is nearly the same as the week before, but is eight cents less than the average price on that same date in 2012. In early 2012, tensions with Iran and higher crude oil prices (with West Texas Intermediate at around $100 per barrel) increased prices, and
AAA said the largest price drops have occurred in the Mountain West region, in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado. On the other hand, Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, and Washington D.C. have seen increases, with prices up by at least 13 cents per gallon in each state.
Motorists in eight states are paying less than $3 per gallon, including Utah, at $2.84; Wyoming, at $2.85; Colorado, at $2.86; Idaho, at $2.95; Minnesota, at $2.96; Oklahoma, at $2.97; Missouri, at $2.98; and New Mexico, at $2.98. In states with the highest prices, Hawaii has the highest, at $4.06 per gallon, followed by New York, at $3.74; Connecticut, at $3.69; and California, at $3.62.