For immediate release: July 26, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989



California Energy Commission Update:
Gasoline Supplies and Prices in California


Sacramento - The price of regular gasoline inched down almost a cent in California this week, bringing the statewide average to $1.71 per gallon for the seven-day period ending July 24, 2000.

The price at the pump follows the slow decline of wholesale prices, which have fallen an average of 17 cents since July 5, 2000. Spot prices for the same period dropped 21 cents.

Escalating crude oil prices have driven up gasoline costs worldwide. On June 30, 2000, Alaskan crude oil the source of nearly a third of California's oil supply reached its all-time high of $32.80 per barrel.

On July 24, Alaskan crude oil was selling for $25.95 a barrel, the first time since May 5, 2000 that the price dropped below the $26 mark. Last year at this time, Alaskan crude sold for $19.07.

On the national level, the average price of regular dropped three cents to $1.52 a gallon, as refiners and distributors solved supply problems in the Midwest. Pipeline outages and the introduction of an EPA-mandated, cleaner-burning gasoline pushed retail prices to well over $2 a gallon in some areas, and sent the national average price of regular to $1.68 just five weeks ago.

Production of gasoline at California refineries was up 2.2 percent for the week ending July 21. Gasoline production averaged nearly 945,000 barrels per day. (There are 42 gallons in a barrel.)

Continued high gasoline demand during the summer driving season, along with high crude oil prices and low retail margins for the past several weeks, will most likely keep pump prices from falling significantly in the near term. Unless there is an unplanned event at the refineries, however, 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:

www.energy.ca.gov/fuels/gasoline

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

www.energy.ca.gov/consumer/vehicle

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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