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Gas Prices Hit Record High in Salt Lake

Gas Prices Hit Record High in Salt Lake

Posted - Aug. 19, 2003 at 9:30 p.m.



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Samantha Hayes reporting Arizona has no gasoline refineries of its own. So, it gets its gasoline products from other states, primarily Texas and California. But now it's relying on northern Utah refineries to help.

In terms of gasoline supply, it has become painfully obvious that we're all connected.

John Hill/ Utah Petroleum Marketers and Retailers Association: "They are going to pull it from somewhere, and we have five refineries in northern Utah, and they are going to be pulling from here."

So, the money you are paying at the pump will continue to go up.

Marvin Strossenreuther: "It's ridiculous. You are just paying a lot for gas and you don't know why."

Here's the reason. The El-Paso-Arizona pipeline is shut-down. Phoenix must draw from the Las Vegas market.

Las Vegas usually helps supply southern Utah.

So our state's northern refineries are picking up the slack.

John: "So what happens here is when supply is used elsewhere or pulled from this market, the price of gasoline goes up."

And probably won't cap off.

AAA reports a national average of $1.60 for regular unleaded. That's up eight cents from last month, 21 cents from last year.

Salt Lake City is above that average. Up 11 cents from last month, 24 cents higher than last year.

Dave Dean: "I'm a salesman, so I travel all over the valley and generally speaking I know where to go to get at least a nickel."

And conservation may be the name of the game, especially when you consider Labor Day travel demand is just around the corner.

John: "And that also puts a little more pressure on supply, causing demand to go up and the price of oil (petroleum) to go up."

Refinery problems in California and a lack of supply from British Columbia to Seattle has caused gasoline prices to spike throughout the West.

Exacerbating that problem was the temporary shut down of seven refineries after the blackout last week.

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