Economy
6:51 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

West Coast Gas Prices Higher Than Other Regions

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 7:34 am

Gas prices nationwide have been dropping but not in the Northwest. In fact, this Memorial Day weekend, the region's gas prices are among the highest in the nation.

Gas in Washington and Oregon is selling above $4.20 per gallon. It's cheaper in Idaho. But all three states are well above the national average of $3.68 per gallon.

The U.S Department of Energy says oil supplies on the West Coast are the lowest they've been since the 1999. Several California oil refineries are offline. And Washington's Cherry Point BP refinery hasn't fully recovered from a fire there in February.

Denton Cinquegrana is an editor at the Oil Price Information Service. He says the Northwest just doesn't have the supply routes that other parts of the country have.

"You know, the Northwest, maybe this isn't the best description for it, but it is a little bit of an island," Cinquegrana says. "There's no pipeline that runs east to west that could bring say refined products to there. Obviously, trucks is one way. But that's a very expensive way."

Cinquegrana and AAA expect Northwest gas prices to go even higher in the short term before leveling off.

On the Web:

U.S. Energy Information Administration's analysis on West Coast gas prices:

http://www.eia.gov/oog/info/twip/twip.asp

Oil Price Information Service

http://www.opisnet.com/

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

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