California Faces Rising Gasoline Prices, Division of Petroleum Market Oversight Raises Concerns

In response to rising gasoline price concerns, Tai Milder, the director of California's Division of Petroleum Market Oversight (DPMO), has sent a four-page letter to Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders in Sacramento. 

Milder's division reviewed recent data, revealing that some refineries failed to maintain adequate gasoline levels or import enough fuel to compensate for production shortfalls during the summer. 

These supply disruptions have contributed to the surge in prices and planned and unplanned refinery outages. 

One specific event highlighted in the letter is an "unusual transaction" on the California spot market, where gas prices surged by 50 cents per gallon on September 15.

The rising cost of crude oil has driven up prices not just in California but across the world. For the last 18 months, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has caused crude oil prices to climb and remain volatile

As of September 20, 2023, crude oil obtained by California refiners from a global market cost $2.27 per gallon, compared with $2.25 one week ago, $2.04 four weeks ago, and $2.18 one year ago.

DPMO contacted refineries to discuss plans for future maintenance and plans to backfill to maintain adequate statewide supply.

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