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Transition to Summer Gasoline in Progress


NORTHWEST INDIANA - Average retail gasoline prices in Northwest Indiana have risen just over five cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.51/g Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 314 gas outlets in Northwest Indiana. This compares with the national average that has increased almost 3 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.54/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy says the price up-tick is pretty typical for this time of year.

"Yeah you can call it seasonal shenanigans if you will," DeHaan says.  "We've started to make the transition to summer gasoline.  Of course we had a couple of price hikes in the last few weeks but we got another one last week when prices jumped back up to about $2.59, $2.65 a gallon.  We're kind of halfway through this transition the more expensive summer gasoline. It takes while to introduce fully."

DeHaan says that's really the reason behind the increase in gas prices and unfortunately it's likely to continue on and off for the next couple of months.  He also says activity at one of Northwest Indiana's own refineries could have a big impact on prices in the short term.

"One of the largest refineries in the Midwest, the BP refinery in Whiting, is going to be undergoing maintenance in the coming weeks," DeHaan says.  "So that's something that could potentially hold some fireworks if there are any issues, hopefully it will go off as normal maintenance without any kinks, but in the past if anything does develop at that refinery it could be a little bit problematic, so that's something to keep an eye on."   

Including the change in gas prices in Northwest Indiana during the past week, prices Sunday were 41 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 7 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands just over 25 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on March 19 in Northwest Indiana have ranged widely over the last five years:

from $1.91/g in 2016, to $3.85/g in 2013.

Sharon Jackson is the local host of "All Things Considered" and a reporter for Lakeshore Public Radio. She has been with 89.1 FM since its launch in 2009. Sharon is also a radio DJ in Chicago, and has been since 2004. In her previous job at Metro Networks/Westwood One, she was heard on am 890 WLS, WGN radio 720 am and am 560 WIND. She has also delivered news and traffic reports on radio stations all over Chicago and the suburbs including 95.9 The River, 98.3 WCCQ and Star 96.7.