LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A record spike in gas prices has left several independent stations around the Southland — and one major wholesaler — with empty gas pumps.
One Costco station in Simi Valley reportedly ran out of regular unleaded and was forced to sell its premium gas at the regular price, which is currently at an average of $4.34 per gallon – after a near 9-cent increase overnight and its largest daily increase ever of 9.5 cents on Thursday.
Smaller stations like the Low-P in Calabasas cut off sales of unleaded fuel on Oct. 2 before running out of its higher-octane products on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.
The wholesale price stations pay for gasoline has risen by as much as 73 cents in some markets over the last week.
Bob Van der Valk, an independent petroleum industry analyst in Montana, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the shortage is likely due to a seasonal transition.
“Right now, gas stations are trying to wean out what they have of the summer blend,” said Van der Valk. “There is absolutely none available.”
Refineries are now making what analysts call the “winter blend,” which burns cleaner at cooler temperatures. California “summer blend” fuel requirements remain in effect through the end of October.
Van der Valk also pointed to the refinery fire in Richmond in September and a power failure at the Exxon refinery in Torrance that have adversely affected the supply of crude oil.
“Costco just ran out of gasoline even though they’re being supplied by Chevron,” he said. “Apparently, they have a limit on that, and then they’ll buy on the open market at whatever price they can get.”
KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou reports one analysts expects prices to break the state’s all-time high for regular gas prices at $4.61 a gallon back on June 19, 2008.
“You might wanna set sail for Dominica or something, because you’re gonna see prices that are reminiscent of what you see in the Mediterranean or what you see in Caribbean islands,” said Tom Kloza, chief analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.