Events spark jump in gasoline prices
By Cindy Wojdyla Cain firstname.lastname@example.org August 14, 2012 4:00PM
The price for gasoline is displayed (top) at the corner of Jackson and Scott streets Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, in Joliet. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 31, 2013 1:43PM
Recent gas price increases in the Chicago area have been caused by events near and far, said David Sykuta, a spokesman for the Illinois Petroleum Council.
Closest to home was a leak in a Wisconsin pipeline, he said.
“We’re trying to recover from the Enbridge pipeline spill, which closed the main supply line for the Chicago-area refineries,” he said.
The pipeline handles about 300,000 barrels a day when it’s at full capacity.
“It’s one of the biggest pipelines in the country,” Sykuta said.
Also, there have been some refinery fires lately, which also reduced production for the Chicago area, Sykuta said.
On the international scene, the price of a barrel of oil has risen from the low $80s to the low $90s. Worldwide demand for oil is up and people are worried about continued trouble in the Middle East and threats by Iran, Sykuta said.
“Unfortunately, three or four things hit at the same time,” he said.
But there is optimism that gas prices in the Chicago area will drop as quickly as they spiked, he added.
The Enbridge pipeline has reopened at 80 percent capacity; the summer driving season, which requires a different, more expensive blend of gas in the Chicago area, is almost over; and the price of a barrel of oil should come down as international fears subside, Sykuta said.
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas in the Chicago metro area was $4.25 Tuesday, up from $3.73 a month ago and $3.91 a year ago. The average for Illinois was $4.06 a gallon on Tuesday, up from $3.57 a month ago and $3.77 a year ago.