California diesel prices push $3 gallon following refinery fire

| 8/5/2005

A fire at an oil refinery in El Segundo, CA, is partly to blame for a sharp increase in diesel prices throughout the state during the first week of August.

ProMiles reported a record-setting average price of $2.87 for the state on Aug. 5. Prices neared the $3 mark in some areas, with the highest being $2.959 per gallon on Aug. 5 at a Pilot truck stop near Salinas.

One OOIDA member, however, reported prices spiking as high as $3.14 per gallon, though Land Line was not able to confirm this.

The Sacramento Bee reported that on July 20, a fire at a Chevron refinery in El Segundo forced Chevron to cut back on its diesel production and took some diesel out of the market. California cannot easily supplement its diesel supplies from outside sources because of strict anti-pollution regulations.

Chevron officials said the refinery is expected to resume full production later this month.

The fire, along with record-setting oil prices hovering near the $62 mark, has been blamed for the increase in California and in other parts of the West Coast region.

In one day – from Aug. 4 to Aug. 5 – diesel increased 3.6 cents in California, 3.5 cents in Arizona and 3.5 cents in Nevada.