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Wisconsin gas price average tops $4 Thursday

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - For the first time in over a year, Wisconsin’s average gasoline price rose above $4 a gallon Thursday morning.

The state’s AAA says the average statewide price of regular unleaded was $4.007. That’s up from just over $3.97 Wednesday – and it’s 12 cents higher than a week ago.

Tom Kloza of Gas Buddy.Com calls it a temporary spike. Two large refineries are running short of capacity in the Chicago area, where much of Wisconsin gets its fuel.

An Exxon-Mobil refinery in Joliet Illinois is late in restarting after routine maintenance in April – and production at a BP refinery in Whiting Indiana has been slowed due to a reconfiguring project.

Both are expected to return to full production soon – and when that happens, Kloza says gas prices will, “drop like rocks.”

Gregg Laskoski of Gas Buddy says pump prices could fall as early as this weekend. He says we can expect some more incremental increases the next couple days, as gas supplies are at their lowest in 20 years.

Milwaukee Gas Prices.Com says fuel prices are at their highest since March of 2012.

Pam Moen of the state’s AAA says Milwaukee area prices have jumped higher than others, because of the cleaner reformulated gas it uses during the summer months.