Auto Club: California Gasoline Refineries Producing Near Capacity — Retail Prices Drifting Lower

Weekly Fuel Prices Report

(LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2004) — Gasoline prices drifted lower last week as refineries in California increased production to near full capacity, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. The national average for gasoline is $1.808, 2 cents higher than last week and a new record high.

Currently, the average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $2.198, which is 2.1 cents lower than last week. Today's price is 3 cents higher than last month and 17 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.203, which is 3.3 cents below last week, 3 cents higher than last month and 16 cents above last year. Motorists in the central coast pay an average price of $2.295, which is 1.3 cents lower than last week, 6 cents above last month and 22 cents higher than last year.

"California refineries are producing about 935,000 barrels of gasoline per day, which is what's expected for this time of year," said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. "While demand remains strong, higher production indicates that retail pump prices could continue falling at the rate of 2–3 cents per week for at least the next couple of weeks."

The national average price of gasoline rose 2 cents last week. The price of $1.808 is a new record high. The upward price trend continues as refineries in many states remain in the turnaround period. Turnaround is when refineries conduct scheduled maintenance and ramp up production of special blends required to meet clean air standards during the summer months.

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline at metropolitan destinations throughout the nation. Average prices as of 12:01 a.m., April 23:

Local and Nearby Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach $2.198 -2.1 cents $2.233 (4/10/2004)
San Diego $2.203 -3.3 cents $2.240 (4/9/2004)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc $2.295 -1.3 cents $2.317 (4/10/2004)
National Average $1.808 +2.0 cents $1.808 ( 4/22/2004)
Other Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
New York $1.954 +1.9 cents $1.968 (9/6/2003)
Washington, D.C. $1.832 +1.7 cents $1.841 (4/21/2004)
Boston $1.754 +0.3 cents $1.812 (9/3/2003)
Philadelphia $1.771 +0.9 cents $1.807 (9/3/2003)
Atlanta $1.691 +2.5 cents $1.693 (4/21/2004)
Miami $1.846 +1.6 cents $1.846 (4/22/2004)
Chicago $1.933 +2.6 cents $2.142 (6/19/2000)
Detroit $1.794 +0.4 cents $2.137 (06/20/2000)
Kansas City, MO $1.706 +2.5 cents $1.790 (06/21/2000)
St. Louis $1.729 +1.8 cents $1.767 (05/17/2001)
Denver $1.828 +7.0 cents $1.832 (4/20/2004)
Dallas $1.707 +2.1 cents $1.707 (4/22/2004)
Houston $1.679 +1.8 cents $1.679 (4/22/2004)
Salt Lake City $1.880 +4.6 cents $1.882 (4/21/2004)
Las Vegas, NV $2.137 +0.3 cents $2.135 (4/14/2004)
Phoenix, AZ $2.023 -0.2 cents $2.146 (8/26/2003)
Seattle $2.004 +7.7 cents $2.004 (4/22/2004)
San Francisco $2.252 -2.5 cents $2.294 (4/10/2004)
Honolulu $2.073 +1.2 cents $2.073 (4/22/2004)

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