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Cold, Snow Cause Gas Shortage, Price Increase

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Deep Freeze of early 2014 has triggered sporadic gasoline outages at some stations and is causing an increase in prices at the pump.

Experts say icy, snowy road conditions–and the closure this week of major interstates like I-65 and I-80-94–have created a shortage at some gas stations because refueling trucks haven’t been able to make deliveries.

More significantly, according to GasBuddy.com analyst Patrick DeHaan, is that prices are likely to go up because of cold-weather maintenance issues at five refineries–two in Illinois and one each in Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

Because it’s winter and not summer when more people are driving, DeHaan said the size of the price increase won’t be as great as it would have been at a time when gas consumption is higher.

He said wholesale gasoline prices were eight cents a gallon higher yesterday.

If this were summer, prices could have gone up double or triple that amount.

DeHaan figured the increase in prices will level off in a couple of weeks and may even start to drop by the end of the month.

A Shell station at 143rd and Wolf Road in Orland Park, ran out of gas at 7 a.m. Wednesday. At a Citgo, near 174th and Wolf Road, out of order bags are placed in pumps that are low on fuel.

“A lot of truck companies aren’t able to do any deliveries to all of the local gas stations in the area,” said Citgo manager Andrew Maro.

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