Gasoline Price Hike Update: Retail Prices up 45 Cents per Gallon

March 3, 2015 By

March 3, 2015

by David Hackett

Retail gasoline prices in Southern California are going up rapidly. I spoke about the reasons why on Saturday’s NBC Nightly News.

Last week we wrote an article that discussed the rapid rise in retail gasoline prices in Southern California. Using EIA’s weekly retail data, we showed that the price of regular gasoline at the pump on Monday, February 23, was up 63 cents per gallon (cpg) from the lows at the beginning of February. We accounted for most of that price rise due to an increase in crude oil prices in January, the seasonal transition from winter to summer gasoline and the impact of the California “carbon tax”.

Other factors, including the shutdown of the ExxonMobil Torrance refinery, strike activity at Tesoro refineries in California and concern over the labor unrest were thought to account for 3-7 cpg of the increase.

Well, the Los Angeles retail gasoline market price increased strongly last week, up another 45 cpg according to EIA’s Monday report.

LA_Retail_Prices_20150303

The only other week-to-week increase of this magnitude was in October 2012, when ExxonMobil’s Torrance refinery experienced a power outage and shutdown. Retail prices went up about 52 cpg after the Torrance refinery outage in 2012 until leveling off and dropping on October 15, 2012.

As of March 2, The Los Angeles regular retail price is up $1.07 per gallon from the nadir on February 2nd. Over that same time period, the national average regular retail price is up about 40 cpg.

GasBuddy.com tracks daily retail prices which appear to be leveling off as the spot market retreated from high levels last week.

1_Month_Average_Gas_Price_GasBuddy

With permission from GasBuddy.com

As long as there aren’t any other unplanned refinery outages, the retail market should retreat just as it did after the ExxonMobil Torrance electricity outage in 2012.

NBC Nightly News Gas Prices Soar after Months of Falling Oil Prices

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