Watch CBS News

Analyst: Gas Prices Soaring At Pump; Likely To Top $4 A Gallon

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Lingering refinery problems and the annual shift to cleaner burning summer gasoline will likely send gas prices to $4 a gallon or more in California for the first time since July 2014.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at, said California's state average stands at $3.78 per gallon, but not for long.

"Motorists in California have been hit hard with surging gas prices in the last month, but the situation is about to get worse," he warned in an email. "GasBuddy is predicting that the average price for gasoline will soon rise to the highest level since 2015."

DeHaan said the state is likely just a few days away from hitting $4 per gallon. A combination of problems were the cause of the surge.

"Refinery problems have plagued the state and the entire West Coast as gasoline supply remains tight due to the change-over to summer gasoline," he wrote. " 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."

Dehaan also cited rising oil prices.

"Oil prices have also increased to the highest level in 5 months, reaching $63 per barrel (as of 11:25 pm PDT Friday)," he wrote. "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.'

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.