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Gas prices rise after fire in Indiana, spill in Wisconsin

The price gas rose 17 cents per gallor 5.1 percent July as oil rose drivers burned more fuel summer road

The price of gas rose 17 cents per gallon, or 5.1 percent in July, as oil rose and drivers burned more fuel on summer road trips. It was the first monthly increase since March.

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Updated: September 2, 2012 6:21AM

A fire at a Northwest Indiana oil refinery and a pipeline leak in Wisconsin helped push up gasoline prices for Chicago motorists, but prices over the long term could be more affected by what happens in Washington and Europe.

Prices are nine cents higher than they were a week ago, and now average $4.01 a gallon in the city.

“We got double-whacked over the weekend,” energy analyst Phil Flynn said Tuesday. “The energy gods are unhappy with Chicago. We can’t get a break.”

The BP refinery in Whiting, Ind., shut down a coker unit that produces raw coke used in fuel after the brief fire, and media reports said the unit might take four weeks to repair. A BP spokesman declined comment Tuesday on the duration, saying it was just one of dozens of processing facilities at the refinery and indicating the malfunction was no different than any other equipment breakdown.

In the Wisconsin spill, Enbridge Inc. said repairs to its ruptured pipeline were expected to be completed Tuesday, though regulators stopped the pipeline’s reopening. The accident caused a production slowdown at Citgo Petroleum Corp.’s refinery in Lemont.

Sandra Guy

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