Gasoline prices could escalate because of refinery fire

August 6, 2012

A fire that started Monday evening at the Chevron Corp.’s 250,000 barrel a day refinery in Richmond, California could result in a swift increase in gasoline prices in the western United States. [ChicagoTribune]

The northern California refinery accounts for one-eighth of the states oil refining capabilities. A prolonged outage could result in increased gasoline prices across the state. Because of California’s super-clean gasoline requirements, there are few alternative supply sources.

Chevron released a statement on Monday saying its primary goal is to contain the fire and protect the health and safety of its employees and neighboring residents.

“A fire started at our 4 Crude Unit at 6:15 p.m. today,” Chevron officials said in the statement. “At this time, we do not have details about the cause of the incident. All employees have been safely accounted for and there are no injuries.”

The crude unit converts oil coming into the refinery into intermediate feedstock for all other units. It can take months to repair a crude unit, which could severely limit production at the plant.



  1. EarlRichards says:

    To understand the sleaze-side of Chevron, see, Why should the public pay for Chevron’s negligence by paying for higher gasoline prices? Chevron should pay for its own mistakes, and not the consumer. Chevron has a lot of capital, because Chevron made $27 billions in 2011 and paid no federal tax and received billions in tax breaks.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  2. Paso_citizen says:

    Do some investigation. This recent fire is not the first at this refinery. At least 2 others over past few years. And don’t try to tell me that everything was done to prevent it from happening. Totally agree with comments to the effect that most other businesses do not have the luxury of never being held financially responsible for things like this – just pass on the costs to the customers that have absolutely no choice. Free market, my tiny hiney, the oil companies are a monopoly!

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
    • Theo P. Neustic says:

      Why don’t you start drilling and producing if it’s so easy? A monopoly, well then, I suppose that the electric companies are monopolies as are the gas companies and the phone companies and the grocery companies, the automobile companies etc. Every industry that takes substantial amounts of capital to function are monopolies by your definition apparently. What do you propose, let me guess, Nationalized Oil”? I can only imagine how well the government would do in running the oil industry. About as well as they run everything else they stick their noses into.

      (-3) 3 Total Votes - 0 up - 3 down
  3. itneverends says:

    My brother was on shift yesterday (and all night) when the Richmond plant blew. It was several hours before he could even call his family. I assume Slowerfaster has never ridden in a mororized vehicle, eaten food transported by one, used any goods transported by fuel-powered vehilces or used any government provided services paid for by the taxes that my brother pays. Lowlife!

    (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
  4. Tacoma641 says:

    I’ve been wondering what excuse they were going to use to run up the price. Labor Day Weekend is less than a month away.

    (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
  5. slomike says:

    The free market will take care of those rascals, eh Gimlet?

    (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
  6. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    Funny how if a grocery store has a piece of equipment go down or other businesses have equipment go down, they deal with it and hurry to stem their loses. Natural process of business. BUT when the oil industry has a problem they just pass all the incovenience of lose on to the customers. OH BOY!!

    The thing that is really bad is the vasoline I’m going to need because of what they are doing to us is also an oil based product so I’m getting screwed either way. LITERALLY!!!

    (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
  7. Slowerfaster says:

    “All employees have been safely accounted for, and there are no injuries”.

    How unfortunate.

    (-21) 23 Total Votes - 1 up - 22 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      I could understand you not liking big oil or big oil companies but why would you wish any harm on people that are just doing a job supporting their families and not particularly sharing in the big profits?

      (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
    • slowtime says:

      Are you for real?

      (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
    • doggin says:

      Please elaborate on your comment. Wishing somebody dead is a pretty dark thought. Oh yeah..and tell us what you do or did for to make a living.

      (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
    • Theo P. Neustic says:

      You’re an ass! A pathetic excuse for a human being. Go ahead and delete me and block me. Someone needs to tell the truth.

      (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
      • moderator says:

        restored, with prejudice, don’t feed trolls.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

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