Refinery fire in Superior won't have big impact on local gas prices

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FOX CROSSING, Wis. (WBAY) - Experts are weighing in on whether a refinery fire Thursday in Superior will lead to higher prices at the gas pump.

Gasoline pump nozzle / vehicle fuels, Photo Date: 8/24/2007 / Pixabay / MGN

The early answer appears to be no.

However, prices will continue going up for other reasons.

With the price of gas steadily rising over the past few weeks, drivers now face a new concern because of a refinery fire in northwestern Wisconsin, but whether that's expected to have any effect here is doubtful, according to the experts at

Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan said, "In this case, the refinery in question is relatively small -- about 50,000 barrels a day. It compares to a refinery here in northwest Indiana just outside Chicago that has the capacity of 420,000 barrels per day."

That refinery also focuses more on producing products like asphalt than gasoline.

At 50,000 barrels a day, it only represents 0.2 percent of the nation's refining capacity, which is 18.5 million barrels a day.

"Thankfully this is not a large city that's served by this refinery. If it was a large refinery nearby a large city, we would have a large problem," added DeHaan.

Still, it was a topic of conversation among people filling up at the pump.

Todd Voss of the Town of Clayton said, "We get our gas from down south, I think around Chicago, so even at that though I've read that the gas prices are going to go up, but I'm kind of ready for it, and this isn't even bad. I mean, I can remember when gas was four dollars per gallon."

Cliff Lagerman of Sherwood added, "I think we're in a good place. If you look back a few years when it was four dollars a gallon then I was worried. Right now, three dollar range, we can manage."

Right now the average price of gas in Northeast Wisconsin is up 21 cents over this time last year.

That stems from the price of oil, which is the highest it's been since 2014.

AAA motor club says it's not because of oil producers but because of the drivers on the road with you. Gasoline demand this month is the highest it's ever been in April, even exceeding typical summer driving.

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