North States Current Gasoline Price Increase Sharply

Drivers in the north state are experiencing gasoline price shock. The cost of gas at several greater Redding stations has sharply increased by almost 25 cents in just a single week. This is a wallet-hurting trend that has shadowed a gasoline price decline for almost a month already.

The recent average gasoline price of unleaded gas in Redding was at $4.29 per gallon. That is higher by 13 cents compared to the past week said the AAA. ¬†California’s gasoline prices are also moving upward while that of the entire nation is declining.

According to experts, low supply in refineries at the Golden State, heavier than usual maintenance in refineries and an unsuccessful restart of Washington State’s BP refinery during the past week have caused the sharp increase of around 80 cents in the spot market of gasoline.

Matt Skryja, spokesman of the AAA, said that levels of stockpiles are at their lowest since 1992.

Alison Roberts, the spokeswoman of the California Energy Commission, said that 12 California refineries produce gas, but five of them are presently undergoing maintenance which has caused a reduction in production levels.

She said that what is happening now is a current gasoline price spike in the West Coast and not just in California.

Moreover, she added that the reasons have nothing to do with crude oil prices. She also said that high increases in the cost of gas are oftentimes short lived and do not last for more than one week or ten days.

Jimm Cross, Redding’s Cross Petroleum VP, said that the recent crude oil price was lower by around $2 which is good news for everyone. Oil prices comprise between 66 to 75 cents of each dollar spent at the pump, said experts in the oil industry.

Cross said that they are hoping to see gasoline prices fall flat or decline prior to Memorial Day. But, they cannot predict anything yet after that.

Decreasing world crude oil prices during the previous month signaled the Energy Information Administration of the United States to lower the nationwide forecast of the average retail gasoline price for the summer by 16 cents a gallon compared to its past projection for a price of $3.79.

But for California, the recent gasoline price run-up means a higher beginning point for the usual summer price increase.  Although it is frustrating for residents of California to know that they are spending over 60 cents per gallon for gasoline compared to the remainder of the country, they should get some comfort that gasoline prices in most parts of the country are falling, said experts.

Tupper Hull, spokesman of Western States Petroleum Association, said that there is nothing happening that they know of or they have seen suggesting that the usual relationship between crude and fuel’s retail prices is not working as anticipated. He said that it is only a matter of timing.

By: Chris Termeer