“Motorists in California have been hit hard with surging gas prices in the last month, but the situation is about to get worse,” Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, a web-based pricing surveyor, said in a note. Gasoline in the state is “on its way to likely hitting $4 per gallon for the first time since July 27, 2014” in the next two weeks.
Retail prices are surging after Valero Energy Corp.’s refinery in the Bay Area stopped oil processing after about a week of smoky emissions prompted air quality warnings. In Southern California, a fire at the Phillips 66 refinery in Los Angeles was said to lead to the shut down of the crude processing unit and the ramping down of other units to minimal rates. The gasoline-producing fluid catalytic cracker at Chevron Corp.’s El Segundo plant, the largest refinery in the state, has been down since April 1, according to Genscape Inc.