A combination of refinery outages and oil pipeline spills in Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois helped drive the U.S. average for a gallon of regular gasoline up 13.7 cents over the last week to $3.645 on Monday, an Energy Department survey showed.
The California average rose 6.6 cents to $3.868 a gallon, leaving the state in the rare position of having cheaper gasoline than many parts of the Midwest.
The surge in the U.S. average started with ruptures in petroleum pipelines that served the Green Bay, Wis., and Chicago areas. Refinery outages in Indiana and Illinois added to the sudden drop in supplies and deliveries, sending Midwest gasoline prices soaring 25.7 cents during the last week.
In Ohio, motorists were paying an average of $3.91 a gallon, while Chicago residents were paying an average of $4.228.
"Watching the national average rise since last week, one might have expected war broke out in the Middle East or a major hurricane shutting down production, neither of which happened, yet gasoline prices spiked," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for the price watch websites run by GasBuddy.com.