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Gas prices expected to rise in region due to refinery issues

Brian Hanson puts gas in his truck Thursday as he prepares to head home to Edgeley after a day's work in Jamestown. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The price of a gallon of gasoline is expected to be more next week in North Dakota and most Great Plains states based on the increases in the wholesale price this week, according to an online company that tracks fuel prices.

That is not good news for Brian Hanson of Edgeley.

“I live 40 miles outside of Jamestown, and my job is here in Jamestown,” Hanson said.

With the price of gasoline expected to increase 5 to 10 cents a gallon next week, Hanson said that kind of price swing does impact his weekly budget.

“You just kind of have to adjust to it,” he said about gas price increases. “Especially in the winter, a jump in gas prices can really stretch your budget.”

Gary Falk of Jamestown said the fluctuations in gas prices don’t have as much impact on him as it would on someone like Hanson, who has a big commute.

“I live here in town, I’m about 5 minutes away from my job,” he said.

As he put gas in his car at M & H, Falk said he doesn’t use much gas in his daily travels.

“On the weekends we (he and his family) go to Fargo, Bismarck, where ever,” Falk said. “I’d just like to see gas under $3 a gallon.”

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for, an online company that tracks fuel prices in real time, said issues with refineries in Kansas, Illinois and Indiana have cut the daily production of regular gasoline from those refineries from 900,000 barrels to about half of that amount.

Kloza, of Lakewood, N.J., said decreased refinery production means higher regular gas prices for Great Plains and Midwestern states, including North Dakota.

“Gas prices will increase 5 to 10 cents a gallon, based on increases of the wholesale cost of gasoline this week,” Kloza said. “We’re looking for those increases to take place next week.”

Officials with Vining Oil and Gas and M & H in Jamestown declined to comment about gas prices.

A refinery in El Dorado, Kan., operated by HollyFrontier is having operational issues, according to information from A fire has shut down a refinery in Coffeyville, Kan. BP’s large refinery in Whiting, Ind., is operating at reduced rates due to maintenance ongoing with a crude unit. ExxonMobil has shut off part of its Joliet, Ill., refinery for work on a desulfurization unit.

Kloza said the issues at these four refineries have pushed the wholesale price of gasoline up 14 cents per gallon in Oklahoma, Kansas and many Great Plains and Great Lakes states this week.

Gas prices dropped over the last week, based on observations at Jamestown gas stations, from about $3.60 a gallon to about $3.50 a gallon in Jamestown.

Kloza said gas prices should in the $3.60 to $3.65 a gallon range through Labor Day, then drop back to current levels.

“Gas prices will go back down,” he said. “This isn’t the beginning of a fuelocalypse.”

The issues at the four refineries came as the nation as a whole is seeing on overall drop in gas prices. Kloza said without the problems at the refineries, the Great Plains and Midwestern state would have seen another drop in gas prices in the coming weeks in the 5 to 10 cents a gallon range.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454