Friday, October 5, 2012

California Refiners Ration Gasoline as Prices Near Record

As crude prices pull pack in New York, prices at the pump are surging in California.
There's a lesson here that warns against maverick regulation.

California Refiners Ration Gasoline as Prices Near Record - Bloomberg:
Spot gasoline in California, with its own blending requirements to reduce smog and difficulty importing supplies from other states, surged to record highs this week. California- blend, or Carbob, in Los Angeles jumped 30 cents to $1.82 a gallon over New York Mercantile Exchange futures yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the highest level since at least November 2007, when Bloomberg began publishing the prices.
“The Rockies, the Midwest, Gulf Coast, East Coast are all very connected by pipelines,” said Tim Hess, a petroleum analyst for the Energy Information Administration in Washington, D.C. “The West Coast is not connected to that system at all. It’s quite a bit dependent on its own refinery production.”
Refiners outside California are generally not equipped to supply the cleaner-burning gasoline required in the state, Hess said by telephone.
“That adds another level of complexity when there’s an outage and they have to import gasoline,” he said. “They still need to figure out how to blend that.”
Read the entire article at Bloomberg:

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