For immediate release: August 16, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

California Energy Commission Update:
California Gasoline & Diesel Supplies

Sacramento -- High demand for California Reformulated diesel, has caused a tightening of supplies at some Northern California terminals. While California Reformulated diesel production and inventories for the week ending August 11, 2000 show an increase of more than 5 percent production and inventories, refinery production problems earlier in the month resulted in tight supplies, particularly in Northern California.

Erroneous rumors, speculating that California Reformulated diesel supplies in October would be constrained, resulted in an increased demand. As a result of these false rumors, some end-users stored diesel for future use, which contributed to a further tightening of supplies.

California's gasoline and diesel imports from refineries in the Pacific Northwest remain constrained due to the continued closure of Olympic Pipeline in the Northwest last year. The diesel market also is impacted further with tight supply of distillate on the world market. In addition, recent EPA diesel purchases by Mexico has also tightened the market for this fuel. California refiners are continuing to meet their EPA diesel agreements to other states.

Alaskan North Slope Crude oil has climbed to $30.00 a barrel, up from the August 1, price of $25.64, but still below the June 30, 2000 price of $32.80. For the second week in a row, the average statewide gasoline price was $1.66 per gallon. Diesel prices climbed seven to eight cents in Northern and Central California and three cents in Southern California over the past week. Current diesel prices are $1.70 in Northern California and $1.63 in Central and Southern California.

"My advice to people is to buy the diesel you need and not stockpile. It is never a good business practice to buy after the price has increased." commented Steve Larson, Executive Director for the Energy Commission. "Barring any unforeseen refinery problems, we expect the current refinery and distribution situation to be resolved in the next 7-10 days and diesel prices should moderate."

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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