For Immediate Release: March 29, 1999
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

California Energy Commission
Provides Assessment of the
Most Recent Gasoline and Refinery Situation

Statement of Energy Commission Chairman William J. Keese:

"Current gasoline production levels will not continue to support the high prices consumers have been paying at the pump. This market has been fuled by speculation during tight supplies over the past two weeks, and the consumer has felt the pinch.

"Today's production is 880,000 barrels of reformulated gasoline per day compared to 921,000 barrels this time last year. This is 96 percent of normal production for the month. At this time, 12 of the state's 13 refineries are up and producing California reformulated gasoline. Tosco's Avon is the only refinery that is down. Two of the 12 refineries, Chevron and Exxon, are not operating at full production. However, Exxon has indicated publicly that it expects to be back at normal production levels either by the end of the week or early next week.

"Chevron's most recent public statement indicates that the fire (at their refinery) only caused a modest shortfall in California reformulated gasoline production. Their statement indicates that they will meet all of their contractual obligations until they return to normal operation.

"The 880,000 barrels per day production does not include imports of gasoline and blend stocks used to make California reformulated gasoline. These shipments began arriving over the weekend from the handful of out-of-state refineries that can produce California reformulated gasoline and are expected to continue through mid-April.

"While some marketers are experiencing difficulties in obtaining gasoline, as the refineries come back to full production levels, we should see prices level off and decline.

"There are adequate supplies of gasoline to meet consumer demand under current market conditions."

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