Double digit increases in gas prices

Gas price shot upward over the past week statewide and locally – by 16 cents a gallon statewide to $3.16 and an average of 13 cents to $3.16 for a gallon of regular unleaded in Hall County.

As you can see from the following, Georgia came close to making the top 10 states with the largest increases in their averages the past seven days: Ohio (+30 cents), New Mexico (+25 cents), West Virginia (+25 cents), Colorado (+20 cents), Maryland (+19 cents), Virginia (+19 cents), Pennsylvania (+19 cents), Illinois (+19 cents), North Carolina (+18 cents) and Montana (+17 cents).

AAA says a significant contributor to the sudden increases is a shutdown at the large BP-Whiting refinery in Indiana, which has been offline for more than two weeks due to a power outage.  The refinery processes 435,000 barrels of crude per day, and the shutdown has caused prices to climb.

“Pump prices usually move higher this time of year, but (double-digit increases in one week are) notable,” said spokesman Andrew Gross. “However, the refinery shutdown will likely be resolved soon, so further increases at the pump should revert to slower and lower seasonal gains.” 

Meanwhile, according to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand decreased from 8.81 to 8.17 million barrels a day last week.