Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Pacific Northwest is feeling the nation's higher gas prices. And they could be pushed up further by Friday's fire at the West Coast's third largest refinery.

The Cherry Point refinery in Washington usually produces 225,000 barrels of gas per day. Owners, BP, says the plant could resume production soon. But Marie Dodds of Triple A Oregon and Idaho, thinks prices could increase as a result.

Dodds explains, "I think that this will be fairly short term in that I don't think that it's going to last for the entire year. I do think though that we're going to have pain at the pumps here for the next several weeks and into the early Spring season."

The average gas price for Oregon is now $3.68 cents a gallon. That's up 13 cents a gallon in the last week.

Dodds thinks the national average could easily top $4 dollars a gallon, and even reach $4.25 by late Spring. Hawaii and California already have four dollar a gallon gas.

Iran's move to cut exports to parts of Europe has pushed oil prices to a nine-month high.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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