CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago area drivers are getting a break at the pump, after gas prices spiked at the start of the month.
In the past week, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Chicago has dropped by about 7.5 cents, while the national average went up by 1.5 cents, according to GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan.
Prices dropped in Chicago, while rising nationally, because the rest of the country has started catching up to the price spike that hit here at the start of November.
“That’s just how high Chicago was during these issues,” DeHaan said. “We were in the stratosphere, so to speak, in terms of wholesale prices.”
That spike was the result of a partial shutdown of a pipeline from the Gulf Coast, and refinery maintenance in the Chicago area that had been delayed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
“We’re seeing the factors that led to gas prices a few weeks ago now becoming resolved issues. Refineries are getting back to work. The Explorer pipeline is reopen. Gasoline inventory is still on the low side, but wholesale gas prices have plummeted,” DeHaan said.
After reaching more than $2.95 per gallon at the start of the month, prices have dropped to about $2.88 per gallon in Chicago. That’s still significantly higher than last year, when the average was $2.23.