LITTLE CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) – The closure of a BP refinery in Whiting, Ind. hasn’t impacted gas prices in Northeast Wisconsin, at least not yet.

According to AAA which tracks gas prices around the country, the statewide average for gas in Wisconsin was the same on Monday as it was on Sunday and it’s actually 6 cents cheaper this week than it was last week.

“It (whether gas prices will go up) really depends on the length of the shutdown and how quickly the refinery can be restored,” said Patrick De Haan a petroleum analyst with Gas Buddy. “As you mentioned there isn’t an impact to be talked about yet.”

Last week, there was an electrical fire at the refinery. According to a BP spokeswoman, nobody was injured and there were no impacts outside of the refinery. She said the fire wiped out utilities in parts of the refinery and that crews are working diligently to get things back up and running “in the coming days.”

The Whiting refinery is the largest in the Midwest and is BP’s largest refinery anywhere in the world. According to a fact sheet on BP’s website, the refinery processes around 430,000 barrels of crude oil per day, making 10 million gallons of gasoline, 4 million gallons of diesel, and 2 million gallons of jet fuel.

Much of the product goes to Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

“Without this refinery there just isn’t enough gasoline,” said De Haan.

The Environmental Protection Agency temporarily waived a Clean Air Act requirement allowing higher volatility gasoline (winter-mix gasoline) to be sold right now. Usually, higher volatility gasoline isn’t normally allowed in the summer because of the negative impact it has on the ozone layer.

The purpose of this measure is to increase the supply of gasoline available to compensate for the shutdown at the Whiting refinery.

The Evers administration worked with several regional partners to get permission from the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Transportation) to waive regulations on motor vehicle hours-of-service rules which will allow truckers delivering gasoline to drive for more hours.

Local Five News stopped by a few local gas stations on Monday afternoon to see if people there are concerned about the refinery closing in Whiting. Many people hadn’t heard the news yet.

People Local Five News talked to said they have been finding creative ways to save money on gas all summer.

“Carpooling with buddies if I have to, switching off vehicles one week he pays one week I pay so it makes it a little bit easier on both of us at that point,” said Michael Guerrero of Kaukauna.

Some drivers told Local Five News they had to cancel plans this summer because gas prices were just too high.

While experts said that the Whiting refinery shutdown hasn’t impacted prices at the pump quite yet, there are other factors driving up prices.

“I think this is all due to the imbalances brought about by COVID, Americans stopped driving during the pandemic and oil companies responded by cutting production,” said De Haan. “But then Americans started hitting the roads far faster than supply could keep up with.”

De Haan said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is also impacting gas prices in the United States.