Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Oil prices are slipping on the international market, but prices have been moving up for the past few weeks at San Diego gas pumps.
SAN DIEGO The price of fuel has jumped as much as $.30 a gallon in the past three weeks at some gas stations in San Diego County. The Utility Consumer's Action Network says the average price is $3.96. That's almost a dollar a gallon more than the price last year. The price of fuel typically declines this time of year, but the supply has been pinched recently.
"Conoco Phillips had a flaring event that they expected to last through September fourth," said Charles Langley, a consumer advocate at UCAN. "Chevron had a problem at one of their refineries. And then there was a leak that stopped the flow of gasoline through the Kinder Morgan pipeline."
That pipeline is a major conduit for fuel coming into San Diego from Los Angeles. Refined fuel is also being shipped overseas. A devalued dollar means U.S. Fuel is cheaper on the international market.
"We've been exporting refined products for many many years, but this is the first year in my recollection in my career over 30 years where we're exporting more refined products than we're importing," said Tom Kloza, a senior analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.
Refined products from the U.S. are outpacing imports by nearly 500,000 barrels, said Kloza. A decade ago, the U.S. was buying 3,000,000 more barrels of refined fuel than it was selling. Most of the fuel being sold to other countries is diesel.