Gas Prices on the Rise

You've probably noticed gas prices in our area have creeped up over the last week or so. AAA Texas says at a rate of about 2 cents per day. NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg joins us live at the Valero gas station off River Road and Hastings. She explains how this is partially a result of the recent fire at the Valero refinery in Sunray.

AAA Texas says gas companies don't save up fuel for a rainy day, so the lack of refined gas from valero to places like Arizona, is causing gas prices to rise across west Texas and the nation. Valero sends refined product to New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Oklahoma.

Since the fire in mid-February, the market has been without the 170,000 barrels of refined gas the refinery produces daily. The strain on supply to those states, means we pay more at the pump. And it may be this way for a while.

"This explosion may have more of a long term impact than initially realized - typically a situation at a refinery doesn't take this long to resolve," says Marie Montgomery with AAA Texas.

Right now Amarillo has the most expensive gas in the state - out of the cities surveyed. The cheapest can be found in Corpus Christi.

These numbers may alarm you, but market experts don't expect the prices to get much higher.

"Often that signals the end run up and prices settle down a little bit at a high level and then they start creeping down a little bit," says Montgomery.

Montgomery says if demand for gas went down across the Southwest, then our prices may go down as well. But with the summer travel months coming, current prices may be our best bet.

The Valero plant in Sunray should begin to run at half capacity in the next couple weeks. They'd produce about 85-thousand barrels of refined gas per day,