WHITING, Ind. (WLS) -- Gas prices are spiking across the Chicago area because of a problem at the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind.
The largest of BP's three crude oil distillation units, which distills about 240,000 barrels of oil per day, was shut down Saturday for unscheduled work. BP says there's no estimate when the repairs will be done.
Gas stations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin get most of their fuel from the Whiting plant, which is the biggest refinery in the Midwest. It is currently operating at less than half of its 430,000 barrels-per-day capacity.
Those gas stations, which need to restock every couple of days, are now forced to source their fuel from refineries that are much farther away.
"Unfortunately, with the Whiting outage, unfortunately the consumer is going to pay at the pump," said Daniel Flynn, The Price Group.
Patrick DeHaan, an analyst for GasBuddy.com, said this is just the beginning.
"I've seen some stations jumping prices 30 cents, that is just a sign of what's to come. We could be looking at Chicago's average 25 to 50, maybe even 75 cents a gallon higher by this time next week," DeHaan said. "BP refinery supplies many thousands of stations throughout the entire Midwest, so this isn't just going to be BP, they supply gasoline to many stations that don't even fly the BP flag."
Motorists filling up Wednesday are certainly paying the price.
"We're looking at spending maybe 20 percent more today than we usually do, that's for sure," said Andreas Spitia, a motorist.
The price of gas is not expected to come back down until BP's broken equipment ion Whiting is fixed.