For immediate release: August 23, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

California Energy Commission Update:
Gasoline Supplies and Prices in California

Sacramento - Despite minor fluctuations in some California cities, the statewide average price of regular gasoline held steady at $1.67 a gallon for the third week in a row.

The average rack, or wholesale, price of CARB regular gasoline increased $.14 since the beginning of August, even though retail prices remained steady. Gasoline production for the week ending August 18 averaged 970,000 barrels a day, 7.5 percent higher than this time last year.

Diesel prices, however, remain problematic. High demand for California Reformulated Diesel, along with production and delivery problems, has caused a tightening of supplies and an increase in prices, particularly at some Northern California terminals. On August 18, diesel prices in Northern California averaged $1.81, up nearly $.19 since the beginning of August. Central California prices on average were $1.74, up $.18, while Southern California prices averaged $1.69, up $.09 since August 1, 2000.

Production of California Reformulated Diesel was approximately 200,000 barrels a day for the week ending August 18, 2000 — an increase of nearly 12 percent over this time last year. Diesel inventories, however, were down nearly 15 percent from the week before, a reflection of production problems earlier in the month and strong demand that resulted in tight supplies.

California's gasoline and diesel imports from refineries in the Pacific Northwest have been hampered by the continuing closure of Olympic Pipeline in the Northwest. The diesel market also is impacted further with tight supply of distillate on the world market. In addition, recent EPA diesel purchases by Mexico and by utilities outside of California have also tightened the market. California refiners are continuing to meet their EPA diesel agreements to other states.

On August 22, the price of Alaskan North Slope Crude oil was $29.37. The price of Alaskan crude on August 1, was $25.64. The higher price of crude oil is contributing to the higher prices of all petroleum products.

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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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