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Gasoline prices rise to $ 4.06 per gallon in San Diego



First, it was a missile attack in Saudi Arabia. Now there is another amount of closure of the refinery. Whatever the reasons, San Diego drivers are greeted by an unwelcome sight as they pull into the gas station: Return of $ 4-a-gallon gasoline.

"I know it's going to be painful for many to hear, but it's just getting worse," said Patrick DeHaan, chief of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, a tech company that helps drivers find the cheapest places to fill up.

The average price for ordinary gas in San Diego has hit $ 4.06 a gallon, up 43 cents in just over two weeks, according to GasBuddy's accounts.

And DeHaan said that the wholesale price of gasoline for Southern California is still rising, which means drivers should expect prices to continue to climb, by his estimate, about $ 20 to $ 0.25 per gallon over the next week.

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"I think it's clear that in a few days, San Diego will look at the highest prices we've seen since 2015 when they were at around $ 4.23 (a gallon), and that's possible since 2014 when you saw a $ 4.29 price as an average, "DeHaan said.

The spike began in mid-September after officials in said Saudi Arabia 18 drones and seven cruise missiles were launched at two of the kingdom's most important crude oil installations, accounting for around 5 percent of the world's daily crude oil production . The Saudis have blamed Iran for the attack; Iran denies any commitment.

California prices are more prone to disruption abroad because Golden State has no direct pipeline connections to receive oil from Texas or the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota.

According to the California Energy Commission, 57.5 percent of crude oil supply to California refineries in 2018 came from foreign sources and Saudi Arabia accounted for more than a third of that ( 134, 8 million barrels last year) .

West Coast markets must also compete with Asian markets for Saudi oil .

DeHaan said about 15 cents of the increase seen at the pump in San Diego can be traced to the attack.

But the biggest factors, De Haan said, are due to four state-owned refineries – two in Northern California (one in the city of Rodeo and the other in Benicia) and two in southern California (in El Segundo and Torrance) . [19659002] The closures come on top of regular maintenance as refineries make the annual transition from "summer blend" gasoline to "winter blend." The timing is especially bad for drivers in Southern California, DeHaan said, because the move from one blend to another later than in other our regions.

"Almost the entire country has moved back to cheaper winter gas," DeHaan said. "But Southern California doesn't change until Nov. 1, so you're stuck with this very strict, hard-to-make gasoline."

And with backups at higher wholesale prices still to be reflected in retail prices, DeHaan said that the full effect of the increases has not yet been seen.

"In seven days from now (stations) should have passed most of it," he said, before any price relief was noticed – perhaps from suppliers based in Asia.

"Prices are so high, I'm sure anyone who can produce anything that can be used in California uploads as many boatloads as they can and ship it," DeHaan said. "It's going to inspire a significant amount of influx to California, but as I said, they will take time."

Last week, the Energy Commission reported inventory for unleaded gasoline in the state was down 21 percent a week. prior. Southern California AAA reported that Oil Price Information Service said Southern California did not receive imported gasoline during the past week.

California has the nation's highest average price for a gallon of regular gasoline – $ 4.03, compared to $ 2.65 nationally, according to AAA .

The Western States Petroleum Association a trade group representing oil companies in five states including California, said that the "primary driver" in the price of gasoline and diesel "is the dynamics of crude oil supply and demand." 19659020] "In addition, unforeseen events – such as storms, power outages, etc. – can have a significant impact," the group's president, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, said in an email. "In addition, state-specific factors such as California's mixed fuel mix requirements, ever-increasing state taxes and regulations such as cap-and-trade and Low Carbon Fuel Standard affect fluctuations in gasoline and diesel prices."

Jamie Court, president of the Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog, acknowledged these factors, but said they do not account for what he says is the lion's share of the price difference.

"Our research shows that when there are price rises like this, oil refineries make more money in California," the court said. "So there may be legitimate reasons why a refinery goes down to raise gasoline prices, but when prices are already so much higher than the rest of America, it becomes the question of why. "

At the request of Prime Minister Gavin Newsom, the Energy Commission is investigating an increase in gasoline prices from 17 cents to 34 cents per gallon from 2015 that has not seemed to disappear. Newsom's full report is due October 15, and may include a determination of whether an investigation into causes such as "market manipulation" is warranted.

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