Posted: Aug 9, 2012 8:29 AM by David Jay - MTN News
A refinery fire in California is already pushing up gas prices in Montana.
Fuel Price Analyst Bob van der Valk from Terry, Montana, says prices have risen because of the shutdown of part of the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California, from a fire Monday.
Van der Valk says prices have risen 30 cents a gallon in California and 15 cents a gallon in Montana.
Currently prices in Montana are right around $3.50 a gallon and van der Valk says prices could rise to $3.75 by Labor Day.
Prices could to go $4.50 a gallon in California.
"Pricing is done by one oil company that like in this case, Chevron, coming up short and trying to protect what little supply they have," van der Valk said. "They'll raise the price and oil companies are like lemmings. They follow each other. So Chevron will take their turn in the barrel, that's what they did, they went up 10 cents immediately. And the other ones followed."
Van der Valk says the fire in Richmond California, along with a recent refinery fire in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has created a shortage.