Extreme Cold Sends Gas Prices Up

Jan 8, 2018

GasBuddy logo

NORTHWEST INDIANA -  Average retail gasoline prices in Northwest Indiana have risen just under 7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.55/g Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 314 gas outlets in the Region. This compares with the national average that has increased almost half a cent per gallon in the last week to $2.48/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy says the extreme cold weather, that exposed refineries to the elements, is to blame for the price hike.  

"A lot of the time the extreme cold can not only lead to problems starting your own car for example, but refineries also outside have to deal with electronics, valves, all sorts of crazy things that can happen," DeHaan says.  "And the cold weather had impacted several refineries in the Region in the last couple of weeks and that's caused production of gasoline to drop slightly and that's really largely the reason for the uptick in prices that you've noticed."

DeHaan says as long as we get a little bit of a break from the price of oil which is flirting near multi-year highs, then we should get a break on the price of gas, which has been going up steadily over time.  He says traditionally gas prices are among the lowest at this time of the year due to weak demand and refineries that are not in maintenance.

"Usually the year's lowest gas prices happen between mid January and about mid February," according to DeHaan.

He says if we're going to get a break at the pump, it will come over the next six weeks, but he doesn't think the break will be too significant.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on January 8 in Gary have ranged widely over the last five years:

$2.37/g in 2017, $1.92/g in 2016, $1.96/g in 2015, $3.24/g in 2014 and $3.22/g in 2013.