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Where Does Our Gasoline Come From?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Gas prices are climbing as the United States considers a ban on importing Russian oil.

AAA says the nationwide average topped $4.06. That's a 45-cent jump in a week and the highest in nearly 14 years.

So where does our gasoline come from? Good Question.

WCCO's Jeff Wagner explains how much we rely on foreign oil and why it's costing so much more.

Whenever you pay a visit to the pump in Minnesota, there's a good chance you can thank our neighbor to the north for that fuel.

Crude oil from Canada flows through pipelines, stopping at two refineries in the state. One is the Marathon Refinery in St. Paul Park, and the other is the Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount.

The Pine Bend Refinery makes 70% of the state's gasoline. About 80-90% of that finished product comes courtesy of Canadian crude.

Canada dominates the list of U.S. imports of oil at 61%. Mexico is a distance second, accounting for 10% of oil import to the U.S. Russia comes in fourth at 3%.

When measured alongside U.S.-produced oil, Russia only accounts for 1% of the oil consumed in the country.

So why is Russia's invasion of Ukraine weighing so heavily on gas prices here?

"It is a global supply and demand issue," said Ramanan Krishnamoorti, chief energy officer at the University of Houston. "Prices are essentially reflected off the global nature of oil."

Russia produces 11% of the world's oil. The idea of putting sanctions on Russian by Europe and the U.S. would significantly cut the world's oil supply, spiking prices everywhere.

"Places like California and New Jersey and New York, they're going to face an added burden on their price," said Krishnamoorti.

That's because refineries along the west coast and northeast are designed specifically for the crude oil that comes from Russia, not Canada or the Gulf of Mexico.

"Not all crude oil are the same," said Krishnamoorti.

In California, prices have already shot up well past $5 a gallon. The impact of that issue will reverberate across the country. Krishnamoorti anticipates the country's oil supply that comes from Canada and the Gulf of Mexico will be routed to both coasts. The U.S. might also look to other countries if it sanctions Russia. CBS News learned Venezuela might once again be a trade partner.

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