MILWAUKEE Wis. May 17 Retail gasoline prices
hit all-time highs on Friday in several U.S. Midwestern cities
due to maintenance and outages at refineries in the region
resulting in a tightening of supplies, according to industry
The price of a gallon of gasoline hit a record $4.32 in
Minneapolis; $4.02 in Fargo, North Dakota, and $3.92 in Oklahoma
City, according to Patrick DeHaan, a petroleum analyst at
The Midwest "is seeing pretty significant jumps because of
very tight supply in oil refining situations," DeHaan said.
The surge in prices in the Midwest has pushed the average
price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States from $3.57 a
week ago to $3.62 on Friday, the largest increase since
February, said Green.
Drivers throughout Minnesota and Oklahoma along with
Washington, Oregon, Nebraska and Iowa have seen prices increase
by more than 20 cents a gallon during the latest week. Prices
jumped in 13 other states by more than a dime last week,
according to statistics from the American Automobile
"It's the world we live now," said Jeff Bucher, a
57-year-old driver in Milwaukee, Wisconsin after he paid $3.92
for a gallon of gas. "What are we going to do about it, walk?"
Drivers in the Minneapolis have been hit the hardest, paying
92 cents more than they were a month ago and the most in the
United States including Honolulu, where prices are typically the
highest, DeHaan said.
Scheduled maintenance at refineries at the BP Whiting
Refinery in Indiana and at the ExxonMobil Joliet Refinery in
Illinois has played a role in decreasing the supply of gasoline,
according to Michael Green, who tracks prices for the American
Green also noted outages at HollyFrontier refineries in
Tulsa, Oklahoma and El Dorado, Kansas as well as at the Citgo
LeMont Refinery in Illinois have contributed to the tightening
"It makes supplies very tight and if anything else happens
to mess up the situation, the prices will go up even faster,"
A 10 percent increase in the price of crude oil since April
has pushed prices higher at the pump, according to Green.