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Gas Prices Expected To Rise As Memorial Day Nears

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Gasoline pump. (Credit: Miguel Gutierrez/Getty Images)

Gasoline pump. (Credit: Miguel Gutierrez/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Motorists in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan should be aware of the likelihood of rising gas prices in the next 48 hours and through the weekend in Chicago.

Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy.com says as the Memorial Day weekend approaches, gas prices in the Great Lakes area will likely go up.

“This time around, it was looking like prices would drop for the holiday but that all changed on Monday,” said DeHaan.

DeHaan says that’s because of production problems at ExxonMobil’s Joliet refinery.

“When ExxonMobil said they were having problems at one of their Chicagoland facilities, we can expect prices to go up, perhaps significantly as we approach the Memorial Day weekend,” said DeHaan.

ExxonMobil’s refinery in Joliet can process up to 238,000 barrels of oil a day.

DeHaan says prices could rise anywhere between 10 and 35 cents but predicts the increase will be temporary. He says prices in Chicago will likely remain around the four-dollar mark throughout the summer.

Will rising gas prices affect motorists travel plans? DeHaan says probably not.

“We find that most people have already made their plans, they’ve gotten the boat out, the RV out,” he said. “They are more likely to cut back on expenses like food and lodging than change their plans because of high gas prices.”

DeHaan says that prices outside the Great Lakes would likely continue to slowly fall. Wholesale prices in other regions have only risen a few cents compared with the near 40-cent increase in wholesale prices in the Great Lakes states.

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