AAA says gas prices up due to refinery issues

DENVER, August 18, 2015 — According to AAA Colorado, today’s average price of $2.86 per gallon in Colorado is an increase of eight cents per gallon versus one week ago, due largely to a new refinery problem in the Midwest. Despite recently rising prices, motorists continue to enjoy significant yearly savings with today’s average discounted 81 cents per gallon versus this same date last year and the lowest same week price in Colorado in five years.

Mid-August 2015 $2.86 per gallon
Mid-August 2014 $3.67 per gallon
Mid-August 2013 $3.55 per gallon
Mid-August 2012 $3.52 per gallon
Mid-August 2011 $3.65 per gallon

Prices moved markedly higher on the heels of news that BP had unexpectedly shutdown the largest of its three crude distillation units (CDU) at its Whiting, Indiana refinery on Saturday, August 8 for unscheduled repair work. The refinery is capable of producing 430,000 barrels of refined product per day, and the shutdown of the facility’s CDU has noticeably impacted supply. BP is reportedly working to meet its fuel supply obligations and has yet to report when it expects the unit to resume production, though initial reports indicate it may take a month or longer to repair.

Market fundamentals continue to support the price of crude moving lower in the near term due to global oversupply. In addition to reports confirming the likelihood of sustained production from both OPEC and higher cost production countries like the United States, which has kept downward pressure on the price of crude, the market is now responding to reports that the Japanese economy is shrinking. Both exports and consumer spending fell in Japan from April to June, which has been viewed as yet another signal that supply will likely outpace demand in the near term. Once refinery issues are resolved these lower crude prices should result in price relief at the pump. The expiration of seasonal gas standards and the end of the summer driving season demand should also lower gas prices.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at


AAA Colorado has more than 600,000 members and is an advocate for safety and security for all travelers. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive related services, as well as member exclusive savings.