Gas prices soaring across area

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Nationwide gas prices are at their highest since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Southern Oklahomans are paying well above $3 a gallon, and North Texans are approaching that $3 mark as well.

But who's to blame for the price hike?

We talked to refinery officials, and you may not like their answer.

Drivers in Pauls Valley and Ardmore are paying up to $3.23 a gallon, and gas station managers tell us you can expect daily increases.

While it's easy to blame it on the refineries, their experts say it all comes down to the law of supply and demand, and the economy is looking too good right now.

From Nebraska to Oklahoma, Kimberly Aucoin has seen the price of gas go up and up.

Just two weeks ago when an explosion put the Wynnewood refinery out of commission, we told you gas prices would reach the $3 mark. They did that--and then some.

The further north you drive, it seems the worst it gets.

Area gas prices:
Gainseville $2.88
Sherman $2.97
Durant $3.05
Ardmore $3.09 to $3.23
Ada $3.09
Pauls valley $3.19 - $3.23

We found gas prices ranging from $2.88 a gallon in Gainesville to
$3.23 a gallon in Ardmore and Pauls Valley.

That's higher than the U.S. average of $3.10 a gallon.

What puzzles folks in Ardmore is why do they have to fork over so much more at the pump when they have a refinery in their own backyard. Valero officials say it's not that easy.

"More goes into it than just proximity, price of oil, how much gas station buys, where gas station is, one in a superstore in parking lot charge less than one on busy intersection."

While consumers love to blame the refineries, distributors, and gas stations, officials say it's the market that drives the oil industry.

We're filling up more and more, and the refineries can't keep up.

"Demand has grown faster than supply; balance is such that anytime outage goes up.... It’s going to get more pronounced as summer goes on."

Some predict gas will reach the four dollar mark. Valero officials say they don't think so.

Officials say if we all drove 60 miles less a month, gas prices would drop a dollar a gallon.