Gas prices soaring in Region

Gas prices have shot up 11 cents this week in the Gary metro.

Gas prices have climbed by 11 cents per gallon in the Gary metropolitan area this week, and have risen by more than 30 cents per gallon over the last month, according to GasBuddy.

The average price of a gallon of gas rose to $2.77 Thursday, up from $2.66 Monday, as refineries switch to the more expensive summer blend designed to cut down on tailpipe emissions during driving season. GasBuddy said it's the highest average gas price in Indiana since an unexpected outage at the BP Whiting Refinery in August 2015.

"The rise at the pump comes as oil prices have hit their highest level since 2014 (over $67 per barrel), the region nears the end of its transition to summer gasoline, and as refiners wrap up seasonal maintenance," GasBuddy said in a news release.

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This week, gas prices in Gary were 20 cents higher per gallon than a year ago, with the cheapest price being $2.49 a gallon. The national average for a gallon of gas is up 25.9 cents compared to a year ago and 12 cents per gallon over the last month.

"As markets have seen concern rise of a possible trade war between the U.S. and China, oil prices have been hit hard, leading gas prices to dramatically slow their recent ascent. While the pause button may be hit for the time being on the spring surge, it is still likely we'll see prices advance again soon," said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy head of Petroleum Analysis. "Thankfully, the bulk of refinery maintenance is likely behind us, but keep in mind the volatility of the stock market has had a major influence on gas prices in the last year, so we may still be susceptible to sudden and dramatic change in U.S. policy and also still being susceptible to any lingering maintenance at the large refineries."

The average price for gas in Chicago was $2.96 a gallon Thursday, according to GasBuddy.


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.