Indiana’s BP Whiting Refinery has shut down two major units for maintenance work. Officials say the refinery could be down for more than a week.
Reuters reports the refinery will greatly reduce production over the next 10 days, after shutting down its massive 290,000 barrel-per-day Crude Distillation Unit (Pipestill 12) and a 110,000 barrel-per-day gasoline producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit.
The work was scheduled. Fall maintenance work is beginning at Whiting.
BP’s refinery on Lake Michigan, which supplies seven states in the Midwest, can produce up to 430,000 barrels per day, so the repairs are likely to result in a steep drop in production. Any disruption at the BP Whiting Refinery typically results in the rise of gas prices, which average $2.20 a gallon in the Gary metro and $2.38 in Chicago, according to GasBuddy.com.
In this case, the idled units would keep gas prices high a little said Patrick DeHaan, a GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst.
“Not likely to push prices higher, rather will prevent prices from dropping as much as they otherwise would have as we transitioned back to winter gasoline and demand weakens,” he said.
Local gas prices are posted at $1.94 to $1.99 per gallon.
The Whiting Refinery, which stretches into Hammond and East Chicago, also operates two other crude distillation units and another cat cracker unit.
The crude distillation unit that’s being worked on is the largest of the three at the Midwest’s largest refinery.