News Local/State

Analyst: Relief Coming At The Gas Pump


Gas prices around Champaign are slowly falling from a peak price of around $4.13 a gallon late last week.

An analyst from the price tracking website said the statewide average has dropped 11 cents in the past week.  But Greg Laskoski said they should even be five-to-10 cents lower at end the end of the week.

The website shows price at the pump locally is now averaging $3.95 a gallon around Champaign.  Laskoski said five refineries in the Great Lakes region had been operating below capacity. 

He said two of them are nearby – including a refinery in Whiting, Indiana, which is expanding.

“It has the capacity in excess of 400,000 barrels a day," he said.  "And it’s also going to be able to accommodate much of that Western Canadian crude, the heavy crude, and refine it into gasoline. So that’s making a lot of progress. The other refinery that we saw experience difficulties was the Exxon-Mobil refinery in Joliet.”

Laskoski said the Joliet refinery closed for just over a month, but is now back in operation after some maintenance.

He expects gas prices during the summer travel season to hover much closer to where they are now.