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Refinery problems partly to blame for gas price hikes

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UNDATED (WSAU)   Wisconsin gas prices have jumped by over 12-cents a gallon in the past week due to a surge in crude oil prices, and problems at two fuel refineries in Illinois. The state’s Triple-“A” said the average price of regular unleaded was almost $3.36-a-gallon this morning. That’s four cents more than yesterday, and 12-and-a-half cents higher than last Tuesday.

Crude oil traded at $97-a-barrel in New York yesterday, the highest since last September.

Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service says crude oil prices have risen for seven straight weeks, due to renewed optimism about the economy.

Pam Moen of the Wisconsin Triple-“A” says that if crude keeps rising, so will the pump price for gas. Supplies have gotten tighter because of problems at a number of refineries around the country. Moen said the troubles in Illinois are having the biggest impact on Wisconsin’s prices – and that factor could go away soon, as the refineries go back on line and resume their normal output.

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