Monday, May 14, 2012

West Coast Oil Prices on the Climb Again

The lowest May gasoline supplies in the Western U.S. in 20 years have prices climbing again in most places west of the Rocky Mountains, even as they continue to fall across the rest of the nation. In California, pump prices for regular gas have jumped 13.5 cents since last week, reports the LA Times.

Analysts blamed refinery problems for the new spike in fuel costs. The state once had as many as 15 refineries, but in recent years, the number has dropped to 12. Now, one-third of those refineries have been in temporary shutdowns, mostly because of maintenance.

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in California is $4.345, up from $4.210 a week ago, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. In Washington, the average price for a gallon of regular has climbed 12.7 cents to $4.201 a gallon since last week. In Oregon, a gallon of regular has jumped 15.6 cents to $4.169 during the same period.

Note: Thos appears to be a supply problem rather than an overall price inflation problem. Nevertheless, it is going to be painful for West Coast drivers.

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