For immediate release: July 12, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

California Energy Commission Update:
Gasoline Supplies and Prices in California

Sacramento -- The average price of regular gasoline climbed two cents in California this week, averaging $1.73 per gallon for the seven-day period ending July 10.

Supply problems and the introduction of an EPA-mandated, cleaner-burning gasoline pushed retail prices to well over $2 a gallon in some areas of the Midwest, and sent the national average price of regular to $1.68 just three weeks ago. As those refinery and distribution problems are solved, the national average dropped three cents this week, to $1.59 a gallon.

This summer, climbing crude oil costs from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries drove up 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. On July 11, the price of Alaskan crude dipped to $27.65 per barrel, a $5.15 decline from its all-time high of $32.80 per barrel reached on June 30, 2000.

A $1.00 change in the price of a barrel of crude oil translates to a change of 2.5 cents in a gallon of gasoline at the retail level. Even though the price of Alaskan North Slope crude oil has declined significantly, however, high gasoline demand, increased wholesale prices and low retail margins for the past two weeks will most likely keep pump prices from falling.

Production of gasoline at California refineries was up nearly two percent. For the week ending July 7, 2000, production averaged slightly more than a million 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.

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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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