""There is definitely a price spike going on," said Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. "There is no question the fire at the Richmond refinery is the catalyst for this."
Chevron's Richmond refinery can handle 244,000 barrels of oil a day. In addition to producing 20 to 25 percent of the gasoline used in Northern California, it also supplies about 50 percent of the jet fuel used at the major airports in the region.
"They are probably running at half capacity at the Richmond refinery," van der Valk said. "They can bring in blended stocks from other parts of the world, such as from the huge Chevron refinery in India. That could take two months to get here. Chevron will just try to hobble along for a while at the refinery."
Other challenges have surfaced that have contributed to the gasoline price problems on the West Coast. For one thing, refinery inventories are low because refinery operators don't want to be caught with a oversupply of summer fuel ahead of the annual switch to winter fuel blends Oct. 1. And the Valero refinery in Benicia has suffered some hiccups lately.
"There are big problems in California right now," Laskoski said."
Geez-between the unemployed not having any money to spend and rising gas prices-is CA just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?
Oh-OH-is that another quake?