For immediate release: July 6, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

California Energy Commission Update:
Gasoline Supplies and Prices in California

Sacramento -- Regular gasoline prices in California climbed an average of 7 cents over the past week as the cost of Alaskan crude oil soared to a new high of $32.80 a barrel on June 30.

For the week ending July 3, California's retail gasoline prices averaged $1.71 per gallon for regular.

The increase at the pump brought to an end the three-week-long anomaly in which nationwide prices -- now averaging $1.62 -- had been higher than California prices. Supply problems in much of the Midwest and the introduction of a EPA-mandated, cleaner-burning gasoline helped cause the average price of regular to climb nationally to $1.68 just two weeks ago. Cleaner reformulated gasoline like the type used in California since 1996 typically costs 5 to 8 cents more to produce than regular unleaded.

This summer, climbing crude oil costs from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have increased gasoline prices worldwide. While California refiners use very little oil from OPEC countries, OPEC acts as the price marker for all crude oil in the world.

Nearly a third of California's oil supply comes from Alaska's North Slope. At its new high of $32.80 per barrel, ANS crude oil was $8.76 more than the $24.04 per barrel price on January 14, 2000. A year ago, a barrel of Alaskan crude cost approximately $16. (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 was up 4.6 percent for the week ending June 30, 2000, averaging slightly more than 995,000 barrels per day. (There are 42 gallons in a barrel.) 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

With the recent announcement that OPEC plans to increase production, crude oil prices should begin to stabilize and decline.

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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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