Refinery fire may spark gas price jump

By: Paige Tebow Email
By: Paige Tebow Email

Consumers could be feeling the heat of the Wynnewood refinery blaze.

Firefighters finally extinguished the fire Sunday night, but now you may be paying for it at the pump.

The refinery produces 33,000 barrels of gas a day, and now that production has stopped, consumers are left to take the heat.

You could see the plume of smoke as far away as Dallas, and now that the refinery fire is out, it may have a Texas-sized effect on consumer's wallets.

"I hate filling up."

"It’s a ridiculous amount of money you have to pay to get from point A to point B."

The Gary Williams Refinery produces a tiny fraction of the nation's oil. Yet on Monday, gas prices took a dramatic hike.

"It was 2.79, jumped six cents in one day."

The refinery is not back to producing yet. Unfortunately, crews can't just flip a switch and bring it back up to speed. It may be days until the site is fully operational.

The company is still supplying gas to local distributors and the Magellan Pipeline and hope they have enough in reserves to keep that up.

"I guess we'll have to live with it around 3 dollars a gallon."

That may be right. Gas station owners say distributors tell them they should expect gas to reach the three dollar mark by the end of the week, and you can blame that on the law of supply and demand.

Officials with the Mid Continent Oil and Gas Association of Oklahoma say the Gary Williams Refinery is only one of five in the area to take a hit recently. Portions of the Conoco Phillips refinery in Sweeney, Texas, were shut down all day Saturday due to power outages.

While the chain of events is frustrating, it doesn't seem to be stopping drivers from hitting the road.

The news only gets worse. Oil and gas officials say companies slow production in the spring to give their refineries a break, so that should push the price of gas even higher.

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  • by Jon Location: Denison on May 3, 2007 at 09:51 AM
    The oil companies are the ones who put President Bush in the white house and therefore, Bush is going to let the oil companies do whatever they want with the prices even though they make millions in profits. the oil companies are using every excuse and explanation they can find to keep the prices high so they can make even more in profits. I think the environmentalists are doing the right thing in forcing the oil companies to step up and find alternative and more clean burning fuels to help with global warming. also the government needs to step in and take control over the oil companies and tell them to lower the prices build better fuel efficeint vehicles.
  • by micah Location: sherman on May 3, 2007 at 09:50 AM
    NOW they have reason for the high prices. They were probably hoping and praying for some sort of natural disaster or problem before people started questioning again about the high prices.
  • by jo Location: here on May 3, 2007 at 07:16 AM
    Bush is not the cause of the problems. Bush is doing an excellent job
  • by Michelle Location: Kingston on May 3, 2007 at 05:57 AM
    Get an education before you start throwing out racial remarks. Yes, being born in America does make you American. Unless you are full blood Native American, which I highly doubt, your ancestors came from another country to America. As for your comment about "free loading foreigners" look around. How many white people do you see working their tail off for minimum wage? Not many. White people think it is below them to work at these jobs. They are the people sitting on welfare because they are too good to work for minimum wage. Take away the hispanic workforce and our economy would greatly suffer. And by the way, yes I'm white, but I appreciate my hispanic neighbors.
  • by Jim Location: okla on May 3, 2007 at 04:57 AM
    You can blame Bush, the govt or oil companys. but the real reason for higher gas prices lay with the invironmental nuts that keep pushing for new laws that make it impossible for the refineries to operate without spending billions on clean up operations.
  • by don Location: sherman on May 2, 2007 at 09:01 PM
  • by Sonny Location: Ardmore on May 2, 2007 at 02:43 PM
    We have a refinery in Ardmore, Why would our prices have to go up and the surrounding smaller towns gas prices remain lower ? It seems Ardmore always has to have the higher gas prices.
  • by Me Location: Oklahoma on May 2, 2007 at 01:06 PM
    BLAME BUSH! He is the cause of our problems!
  • by Karen Location: Kingston on May 2, 2007 at 11:11 AM
    American gas & oil is for Americans to use. How many foriegn people do we have using "our" gas & oil. We, "true Americans" are paying too high a price for gas and not having it - just like we are paying for NON-Americans to live in America, spaend OUR foodstamp money, have one kid after another on OUR medical dollars, ans so forth and so on. It is time for AMERICANs to be treated as as something more than a door mat and to free-loading foreigners. Raise the prices for the NON Americans. Being born in America doesn't make you AMERICAN.
  • by Fozzy Location: Ardmore on May 2, 2007 at 08:17 AM
    And yet the American Lemming goes zipping down the freeways at 80 in the cast iron party barge. Until the American Lemming loses their taste for gas and changes their habits, the oil companies will not change their ways, right now the American prove that they are willing and able to buy fuel no matter what the cost...
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