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For Immediate Release: December 20, 2006
Media Contact: Rob Schlichting - 916-654-4989

Gasoline, diesel production beats 5-year
highs at California refineries

Sacramento - California refineries posted the highest December production numbers in over five years for in-state gasoline and diesel fuel, according to the Weekly Fuels Watch Report issued today by the California Energy Commission.

Production of California gasoline increased 7.6 percent from the previous week, averaging 1,117,143 barrels a day for the week ending December 15, 2006. Production was 12 percent higher than at this time a year ago. Inventories of the California fuel grew by 9.5 percent over the week before and were 22.1 percent more abundant than at this time one year ago.

Higher crude oil prices helped raise the average retail price of regular gasoline nationally to $2.32 a gallon, up 2.7 cents for the week ending December 18, 2006. California's retail price for regular increased 5.7 cents, to a statewide average of $2.56 a gallon. The highest retail prices in the continental United States were on the West Coast.

Total diesel fuel production rose 1.8 percent over the week and was 2.7 percent higher than a year ago. Production of California's Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) alone was off slightly - 0.2 percent - from the week before but was 15 percent higher than comparable supplies at this time in 2005. ULSD inventories increased 1.9 percent for the week, but remained 21 percent lower than last year's supplies.

Diesel prices provided a bright spot for consumers. For the week ending December 18, 2006, California's statewide diesel price fell 4.6 cents to $2.92 a gallon, while the national retail average for diesel dropped 1.5 cents to $2.61 a gallon

Today's entire Weekly Fuels Watch Report can be seen on the Energy Commission's website at:

www.energy.ca.gov/database/fore

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Editor's note:

The figures released today are preliminary and may change slightly over time. This summer the Energy Commission is also posting a weekly version of its monthly Petroleum Watch, which provides useful background information on petroleum markets and California refineries. You can find the report on the Energy Commission's website at:

www.energy.ca.gov/consumerfuels

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