Fuels analysts fear gasoline prices in Iowa could be about to jump following recent problems at three refineries in the Midwest region. That comes after more than two months of steady gas price declines in the state.
Rose White, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says there was a big fire at a major refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, on July 29th. “Repairs are expected to take about four weeks,” White says. “Also, there’s some reported problems at a refinery in Whiting, Indiana, as well as one in El Dorado, Kansas.” An interruption at one regional refinery might not be so bad, but she says slow-downs or complete halts at three Midwestern fuel facilities could spell a price hike due to reduced supply.
“The good news is, there is a good supply already built up in the inventory levels,” White says. “This might provide some cushion and help prevent severe spikes.” Iowa’s been seeing prices at the pump drop steadily since early June, but White says that could be about to end, even though demand is starting to drop off with the end of the summer driving season.
“Refinery production had been at record high levels in the Midwest this summer,” White says. “That’s going to provide some needed cushion to help weather these problems. Prices do continue to drop across most states in the region but that could change in the next few days.” Triple-A says gas prices in Iowa are averaging $3.36 a gallon, that’s nine cents below the national average.
Also, prices statewide have fallen 14 cents in the past month and more than 30 cents since June 1st.