A day after the fire began at Chevron Corp.'s Richmond refinery, a… (Aric Crabb / Oakland Tribune…)
Pump prices for regular gasoline jumped by more than a nickel a gallon overnight as they climbed back toward $4, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. Usually, gasoline prices change only a penny or two a gallon during any 24-hour period.
The Auto Club said it was one of the first retail price reactions to the fire earlier this week at Chevron Corp.'s sprawling Richmond refinery. Although the refinery is on the shore of San Rafael Bay, north of San Francisco and Oakland, it is an important fuel provider for Southern California.
“Monday night’s major fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond had an immediate effect on the wholesale gasoline market on Tuesday, which has caused gas prices to shoot up since then,” said Auto Club spokesperson Jeffrey Spring.
“Southern Californians have already been experiencing increased pump prices for nearly a month due to higher oil prices, and this incident has just made the increases come even more quickly," Spring added.
The parts of the refinery that were not affected by the fire are still operating, but Chevron hasn't said how much fuel they are able to produce. At peak performance, the plant is capable of producing 243,000 barrels a day, making it the state's third biggest refinery.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $3.956 per gallon, which is 10.3 cents more than last week, 25 cents higher than last month, and 17 cents higher than last year.
In the Inland Empire, the average per gallon price is $3.919, up 10.3 cents from last week, 24 cents higher than last month, and 15 cents more than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $3.981, up 9.7 cents from last week, 19 cents higher than a month ago, and 15 cents above last year.
In San Diego, the price is $3.939, 10.1 cents above last week, 25 cents above last month, and 16 cents higher than last year.
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