Current Gasoline Price Rises in California Start to Stabilize

California drivers expected a major increase in the prices of fuel after an August 6 fire at Chevron’s Richmond refinery, a prediction matched by many market analysts at the time. The surge eventually occurred, pushing the average price of fuel from $3.81 to $4.15 a gallon within one month following the blaze.

However, they have not risen as much since that time, and current gasoline prices even seem to be falling quite a bit. Some stations across the region, especially Arcos, are posting a gasoline price today of less than $4 per gallon for regular.

According to economist Kevin Cochrane at the College of the Desert, worries over the fire at the Richmond refinery were exaggerated. During the fire, their fuel tanks were full so they still had a lot to sell, said the economist.

Coupled with China’s slow economic growth, demand and, accordingly, the per barrel price of crude oil has not been really skyrocketing. That helped stabilize prices in the past weeks even though it does not look like the current gasoline prices will be falling significantly anytime in the near future.

Analysts estimate the price of fuel to fluctuate by a nickel or dime through the remainder of the year. Inland Empire’s current gasoline price average for regular unleaded is $4.11 per gallon, a similar rate compared to the past week, according to Southern California’s Automobile Club.

That is lower than California’s average gasoline price today of $4.14 a gallon. However, it is way higher than the $3.80 national average for this week.

By: Chris Termeer