Cherry Point refinery back online; will gas prices dip?

Cherry Point refinery back online; will gas prices dip?

Cherry Point refinery back online; will gas prices dip?

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 6:14 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 30 at 6:17 AM

Many eyes will closely watch Washington's gas prices over the next few days to see whether full production at the state's largest oil refinery sends them downward.

The Cherry Point refinery in Whatcom County is once again fully operating Wednesday, reports Reuters. The BP plant was shut down on February 17 by an explosive fire that forced a complete shutdown for the last three months.

Cherry Point processes about 230,000 barrels of crude oil each day. It is the largest oil refinery in Washington and the third largest on the west coast.

Meanwhile, AAA reports Washington's average gas price is $4.27 per gallon -- higher than the nationwide average of $3.63. Seattle drivers pay an average of $4.32 per gallon, and Tacoma drivers pay an average of $4.30 per gallon.

The state's highest average is in Bellingham, less than 20 miles from the Cherry Point Refinery, where the average is about $4.44 per gallon.

The cause of the failure was pinpointed to the Crude Vacuum Unit where there was a release of resid that caught fire.

There was no environmental threat as a result of the fire, the EPA determined.

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