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GasBuddy Predicting $4 Per Gallon Due to Refinery Problems and ‘Summer Changeover’

Motorists in California have been hit hard with surging gas prices in the last month, but the situation is about to get worse. GasBuddy is predicting that the average price for gasoline in California will soon rise to the highest level since 2015, which will surpass 2018’s peak of $3.83 per gallon in the next few days on its way to likely hitting $4 per gallon for the first time since July 27, 2014.

Refinery problems have plagued the state and the entire West Coast as gasoline supply remains tight due to the change-over to summer gasoline. That has meant refineries must start building inventories from scratch to meet seasonally stringent specifications for gasoline. In addition, several California refineries are also in the midst of planned maintenance, further tightening supply. Oil prices have also increased to the highest level in 5 months, reaching $63 per barrel as of 1:25pm CT Friday. Lastly, ethanol prices have surged due to flooding in the Midwest over the last few weeks. All of these issues are a factor, but the largest has been and will continue to be unexpected outages at refineries.

California’s state average stands at $3.78 per gallon at the moment but will likely surpass the 2018 peak in short order, then climb to $4 per gallon in the next two weeks. While GasBuddy is alerting motorists to be prepared for higher prices, it warns motorists to abstain from filling their tanks to avoid making the supply issue worse.