High gas prices blamed on regional refineries maintanence

High gas prices explained

(WXYZ) - The state average for gasoline in Michigan is $4.22 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.

And, it's going up.

The gas website reports the national average is only $3.64 a gallon. And it's going down.

Why?

In the words of a petroleum analyst, Michigan is on the receiving end of "bad luck."

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"I don't want people to start getting paranoid," says Gregg Luskoski a petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. "But the Great Lakes and Michigan is  where all these problems are connected."

Luskoski believes five refineries: One in Michigan and Indiana and three in Illinois are creating the price spike.

An Exxon refinery in Joilet, Ilinios expected to shut down for a month of maintenance had to buy gasoline on the open market after 42 days of being off-line to meet a contractual obligation after. That sent shock waves through oil traders.

"That created a panic that sent wholesale prices higher and retail prices spiking, but it wasn't just that refinery that's the problem," says Laskoski.

And the problem refinery, Marathon in southwest Detroit.

An April explosion forced the refinery off-line and analysts don't know when it will start pumping at 100 percent again.

We still have room to go. Analysts predict gas prices may not level off in Michigan until the first weekend in July, at the earliest.

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