Created on Thursday, 06 June 2013 Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio motorists are getting a sinking feeling as they pull up to the pumps this week. Gas prices are way up and now are hovering around $4 a gallon.
Rising oil prices amid fears about refinery problems in the Great Lakes have pushed pump prices up over the dreaded $4 mark at some stations across the state. Others are almost there.
According to auto club AAA, the state average for a gallon of regular gas was $3.93 on Thursday, an increase of 9 cents from Wednesday and 27 cents higher than a week ago. Meanwhile, the national average Thursday was $3.63, up just 2 cents from a week ago.
The highest average Thursday in Ohio was $3.97 in the Columbus area.
An analyst told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/11u5tQV) the supply of gasoline has been unstable in the Great Lakes region, where two large refineries are either partly or fully shut down for maintenance.
Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with Gas Buddy, a division of the Oil Price Information Service, said rumors of oil company refineries with problems buying huge amounts of gasoline are making the Great Lakes region's wholesale prices "bipolar."
"My wholesale prices are wacky," said Patrick LaVecchia, a filling station owner in the Cleveland suburb of Rocky River and spokesman for the Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers, which represents some 5,000 member stations in Ohio and Michigan.
By contrast, the average price Thursday in neighboring Pennsylvania was $3.48. But in Michigan, it was $4.23. In Indiana, it was $4.12.
The highest recorded average price for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio was around $4.16 in May 2011, according to AAA.