For immediate release: June 29, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Update: Gasoline Supplies and Prices in California

Sacramento -- Over the past week, the wholesale price of gasoline in California increased an average of 12 cents in the Los Angeles area and 15 cents in the Bay area.

Prices at the wholesale level are expected to decline over the next week as minor problems with gasoline production and distribution are corrected in Northern California. In the meantime, some areas of the State have experienced an increase in retail prices, particularly at independent stations.

For the week ending June 26, California's retail gasoline prices averaged $1.64 per gallon for regular. This price is about 2 cents lower than the nationwide price of $1.66 a gallon, an unusual situation -- California's cleaner burning gasoline typically costs 5 to 8 cents more than regular gasoline in the rest of the nation. Gasoline prices are up in other parts of the country, however, due to a shift to cleaner-burning gasoline that is more costly to produce.

The main reason that gasoline prices remain higher this summer than last is the higher cost of crude oil. While California refiners use very little oil from OPEC countries, OPEC acts as the price marker for all crude oil in the world.

On June 23, 2000, Alaskan North Slope crude oil -- the source on nearly a third of California's oil supply --Ęsold for $32.39 per barrel. This price was up $8.35 from the $24.04 price per barrel on January 14, 2000. One year ago, a barrel of Alaskan crude oil cost approximately $16.00. (For each $1.00 increase in the price of crude oil, there is a corresponding 2.5-cent increase in the cost of gasoline.)

Production of gasoline at California refineries is good, averaging slightly more than 950,000 barrels per day for the week ending June 23, 2000. (There are 42 gallons in a barrel.) Gasoline production is down about 7 percent from the previous week. Unless there is an unplanned event at the refineries, the California Energy Commission anticipates that there will be adequate supplies of gasoline to meet summer driving demand.

If you have questions about gasoline and diesel supplies and prices in California, please call us at (916) 654-4989. More detailed information on California's gasoline and diesel supplies and prices can be found on the California Energy Commission's Web Site at:

For money-saving and gas-saving consumer tips, go to this Web address:

Editor's Note: The California Energy Commission will be providing this type of information weekly to keep you apprised of the gasoline situation over the summer months.

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