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Refinery problems fuel U.S. price rise, but California prices are stable

July 11, 2011 |  9:00 am

Several refinery problems around the United States were forcing retail gasoline prices up around parts of the country, but California prices were relatively stable Monday.

CA_grph In California, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.780, down 0.5 cents since last week, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. The Fuel Gauge Report uses retail receipts from more than 100,000 service stations across the United States, compiled by the Oil Price Information Service and by Wright Express.

According to Gasbuddy.com, there was a wide range of prices across California, including a low of $3.39 for a gallon of regular at the Reynolds Ranch Parkway Costco in Lodi and a high of $4.59 a gallon at the Shell station on West Olympic Boulevard at Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles.

Nationally, the average rose 6.6 cents over the last week to $3.631 for a gallon of regular gasoline, the AAA Fuel Gauge Report said.

The refinery news included some of the nation's largest fuel producers, including BP's 475,000-barrels-a-day Texas City facility in Texas. BP Texas City has been running at as little as half-capacity since April and was not set to resume full production until August.

In Illinois, ConocoPhillips' 362,000-barrels-a-day Wood River refinery is operating at reduced rates. Chevron Corp. just recently restarted it's 330,000-barrels-a-day refinery in Pascagoula, Miss., that had been down since May 9. PBF Energy's 190,000-barrels-a-day Delaware City, Del., refinery, acquired last summer, has still not returned to service.

Husky Energy's 150,000-barrels-a-day refinery in Lima, Ohio, is still shut down for repairs. ExxonMobil's 60,000 barrels-a-day Billings, Mont., refinery is also running at reduced rates.

In other energy news, oil prices were tending down. The U.S. oil price benchmark, West Texas Intermediate crude, fell $1.88 to $94.32 per barrel Monday in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange over inflation worries in China and as concerns continued over European debt problems.

-- Ronald D. White

Graphic: AAA's 12-month rolling average price for regular gasoline in California and the nation is shown. Credit: AAA

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