An August fire at the Richmond facility has put the squeeze on California oil production - and is responsible, at least in part, for last week's price blowup. Not having the refinery online for at least another three months won't make production any easier, especially since the state cannot bring in gas from other parts of the country. From Reuters:
"When Chevron went down in August, other refiners took up the slack and were able to keep going," said David Hackett, president of Stillwater Associates, an Irvine, California, energy consultancy. "When the problems developed last week, there wasn't anyone left to take up the slack." Chevron said the shutdown has already affected production. "During the first two months of the third quarter, U.S. refinery crude-input volumes decreased by 92,000 barrels per day compared to the second quarter, largely reflecting the shutdown of the Richmond refinery crude unit," Chevron said in an interim update to investors on the third quarter.