(INDIANAPOLIS) - Drivers in Indiana paid the second highest increase at the gas pump in January in the country.
Dustin Grove of WISH TV8 reports that AAA says the highest monthly price increases included Minnesota ($.33), Indiana ($.24), Michigan ($.23), and Illinois ($.23).
AAA said it expects the national average to increase in February because of seasonal refinery work, but at a slower pace than the last two years.
"Gas prices are expected to rise steadily as many refineries temporarily close for scheduled turnaround maintenance and as the industry begins the complicated process of switching over to summer blends of gasoline," said AAA spokesperson Avery Ash.
GasBuddy spokesperson Gregg Laskoski said prices are expected to peak in the Indianapolis area in April, when the average price of gas could reach between $4.00 and $4.35 per gallon.
Tom Kloza, chief analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, said the Midwest/Great Lakes regions are more dependent upon local refineries. And he said several of those refineries were undergoing projects this year.
"Unfortunately a lot of the big projects call for refineries to be shut down or have a lot of reconfiguration," he said.
The good news? Once finished, one of those projects will allow for an increase in processing cheaper, Canadian crude.
"Ultimately that will mean cheaper gasoline in the Midwest but probably for the next five months it means more expensive," he said.
GasBuddy.com reported the average price of gas on Wednesday in Indianapolis was $3.64 per gallon, up from $3.54 a week ago and $3.14 last month.
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