I've been peppered with questions in the last few days asking when the Great Lakes region would see relief from the intense gasoline price increases they've been seeing, so it's with happiness that I report we're starting to see initial signs of a cooldown in gas prices in the region.
While energy markets are open, this will be subject to change as the day wears on, but at current writing, wholesale costs look like they could finish the day down double digits per gallon, which certainly would be welcome relief to the region.
Gasoline prices across the region rose significantly last week with average prices in Indiana rising 30c/gal, Michigan rising 24c/gal, Ohio rising 29c/gal, Illinois rising 35c/gal, Wisconsin rising 33c/gal, all because of multiple refinery blips and a pipeline rupture in Wisconsin. While there was no immediate word of widespread fuel shortages, Michigan's Governor did place the Upper Peninsula under a fuel emergency, which allowed fuel delivery trucks wider operating hours so that trucking companies had additional flexibility delivering fuel.
The pipeline issue was likely the most significant of the news, but all said, the market reaction was likely over done. Enbridge says the line that was shut down in question, Line 14 is a 24-inch, pipeline with capacity of 317,600 barrels per day, installed in 1998. It predominantly transports light crude oil to Chicago area refineries. It is part of the Partnership's Lakehead System and owned by Enbridge Energy,Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of the Partnership.
News sources said the pipeline may be back to operation soon, but
Enbridge could face a tough restart process. So some cautiously good news for motorists in the Great Lakes region. We'll take it.