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Monday, May 14, 2012

Update on Gasoline Prices: West Coast Refinery Problems

by Calculated Risk on 5/14/2012 07:09:00 PM

Earlier I noted that gasoline prices will probably follow the price of Brent oil down, but that there were some refinery issues.

Here is a story from the Mercury News last Friday: Rising California gas prices expected to increase even more

Prices could rise an additional 20 cents in the next few days, as refinery problems continue to choke supplies for California's special blend of clean burning gas. On Thursday, many Bay Area stations saw jumps of several cents to a dime.

"Prepare to get clobbered," said Patrick DeHaan, the senior petroleum analyst with

West Coast gas inventories are at their lowest level in 20 years, he said, and the blame is with production on the West Coast.

"Refineries have been having a lousy spring with not just one massive facility outage," DeHaan said, "but smaller, more widespread issues."
Gasoline prices on the west coast are up about 20 cents this month, and about 10 cents over the last several days. Hopefully this is a short term problem.