Sunday, June 23, 2013

Gasoline Prices down slightly Nationally, Higher in California due to Refinery Issues

by Bill McBride on 6/23/2013 10:17:00 AM

The refineries in the Midwest are back online, and gasoline prices are falling. From the StarTribune: Gas prices trend down, easing road trips

Average gas prices in the Twin Cities peaked at $4.35 on May 18. By late last week, though, the average price had dropped to $3.52, lower than the national average ...

Less gasoline was available in the Upper Midwest that month, when two oil refineries in the region underwent maintenance. ... For the time being, anyway, the refineries that had stopped operations are back online, and the gasoline is flowing.
However in California: Gas prices up 5 cents overnight
Southern California gasoline prices are on the rise in response to a partial shutdown of a major refinery outside of Los Angeles. ... ExxonMobil confirmed the shutdown Wednesday of crude distillation units at its Torrance refinery, which has reduced production significantly from the 150,000-barrel-a-day capacity.
Oil prices were down this week, with WTI down to $93.69 per barrel, and Brent at $100.91.

Using the calculator from Professor Hamilton, and the current price of Brent crude oil, the national average should be under $3.40 per gallon. That is almost 20 cents below the current level according to There are probably some seasonal factors not included in the calculator, but if crude oil prices stay at the current level - and the refinery issues are resolved - we should expect national gasoline prices to fall below $3.40 per gallon.

Note: If you click on "show crude oil prices", the graph displays oil prices for WTI, not Brent.

Orange County Historical Gas Price Charts Provided by