Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

California refinery fire will boost gasoline prices, experts say
AP via ADN.com ^ | TERRY COLLINS | TERRY COLLINS

Posted on 08/08/2012 5:43:19 AM PDT by thackney

A major fire at one of the country's biggest oil refineries that sent scores of people to hospitals with breathing problems will push gas prices above $4 a gallon on the West Coast, analysts said Tuesday.

Story tools 21 Comments E-mail a friend Print Share on Facebook Digg this Seed Newsvine Send link via AIM Tweet this

Font size : A | A | A The fire, which sent plumes of black smoke over the San Francisco Bay area, erupted Monday evening in the massive Chevron refinery about 10 miles northeast of San Francisco.

It was out early Tuesday, although officials were still conducting a controlled burn.

...

It produces about 150,000 barrels of gasoline a day — 16 percent of the West Coast's daily gasoline consumption of 963,000 barrels, according to Kloza.

(Excerpt) Read more at adn.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: energy; gasoline; gasprices; refinery
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-58 next last

1 posted on 08/08/2012 5:43:26 AM PDT by thackney
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Eye of Unk

It produces about 150,000 barrels of gasoline a day

Ping


2 posted on 08/08/2012 5:45:18 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thackney

What caused it?

Just asking.


3 posted on 08/08/2012 5:45:24 AM PDT by ripley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ripley

The blaze started at the refinery’s No. 4 Crude Unit after an inspection crew discovered a diesel leak in a line in the unit, Nigel Hearne, manager of the refinery, told The San Francisco Chronicle.

Shortly after the crew evacuated the area, the diesel ignited, Hearne said.

One employee suffered a minor injury and was receiving first aid, Chevron officials said.

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/energy-resources/Chevron+says+fire+contained+refinery+area/7051217/story.html#ixzz22xVKwnLf


4 posted on 08/08/2012 5:54:12 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: thackney

Diesel won’t ignite unless it’s atomized.

Just saying.


5 posted on 08/08/2012 5:58:18 AM PDT by ripley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ripley

If it is hot enough, a pool fire will burn.


6 posted on 08/08/2012 6:01:47 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: thackney

Since California’s gas tax (like Hussein’s Illinois) is based upon PRICE, this is a GOOD thing for PelosiCo.


7 posted on 08/08/2012 6:07:02 AM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thackney
Whoa! This CA refinery 'fire' is a little too convenient.

A couple days ago there was another refinery 'fire' in the IL area where we get our gas from. So as of yesterday the Chi Metro Area now has the HIGHEST Gas Prices in the US! And now another fire that effects all gas prices on the West Coast?!?

It's 'funny' how these 'fires' will now give Obama a platform to push more of his Green Energy crony scams for more 'renewable energy sources'. Now isn't it?

I'm sorry but as Leroy Jethro Gibbs says: "I don't believe in coincidences".

8 posted on 08/08/2012 6:09:49 AM PDT by Condor51 (Si vis pacem, para bellum.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Condor51

Once is an accident, twice is coincidence... THREE times is enemy action. With this bunch in office? I go straight to #3, it’s just too darn convenient to their stated goals.


9 posted on 08/08/2012 6:14:04 AM PDT by The Working Man
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Condor51
It's 'funny' how these 'fires' will now give Obama a platform to push more of his Green Energy crony scams for more 'renewable energy sources'. Now isn't it?

Seriously??? Chevron and 0bama working together? Over on DU they are saying saying Chevron started the fire to raise the prices of gas, thus hurting 0bamas reelection. You conspiracy folk are just whacked.

10 posted on 08/08/2012 6:18:14 AM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Condor51

Somehow I doubt the Obama administration is trying to raise gasoline prices a few months before the election.

There are probably 100 refineries fires or more a year. It is not a great conspiracy.


11 posted on 08/08/2012 6:25:38 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: The Working Man
THREE times is enemy action

Yeah, it is part of their brilliant diabolical plan to get re-elected by raising gasoline prices before the election.

12 posted on 08/08/2012 6:27:35 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: thackney

Yeah, yeah, we know. If a Saudi prince farts, the price of oil goes up.


13 posted on 08/08/2012 6:30:07 AM PDT by manic4organic (We won. Get over it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

For the people who believe a few refinery fires is proof a conspiracy:

During the five-year period from 1994 through 1998, an average of 228 fires or explosions were reported in or at petroleum refineries or natural gas plants per year.

http://www.illinoisfire.com/pdf/refinery_fires.pdf


14 posted on 08/08/2012 6:33:13 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: thackney

Yeah, it is part of their brilliant diabolical plan to get re-elected by raising gasoline prices before the election.


You would be correct if this was a normal sort of election. I think that several things could happen:

1. They could say that the higher gas prices are in reaction to the OIL industry being afraid of the policies that the Romney Administration will institute. So they are trying to make as much money now as they can.

2. They could give a darn as long as they reach their target of U.S. Gasoline being priced as high as European Gasoline.

3. They could give a darn because they no that no matter what happens in November they will not be relinquishing the reins of power.

On the other hand it’s just another Oil Refinery fire, no biggie. Take your pick.


15 posted on 08/08/2012 6:40:38 AM PDT by The Working Man
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: The Working Man

it’s just another Oil Refinery fire, no biggie. Take your pick.

- - - -

That is my pick.


16 posted on 08/08/2012 6:47:22 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: All; thackney
Oh look it's a refinery fire! I guess it's that time of year again. /s

In 2011, it was ConocoPhillips.

In 2010, it was Golden Eagle.

In 2009, it was Tesoro...

All coincidence.

17 posted on 08/08/2012 6:50:18 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Spread the word: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2915810/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thackney

It’s an obscenity that refinery fires are so frequent. In CA it’s almost a season of the year.


18 posted on 08/08/2012 6:54:28 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Spread the word: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2915810/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Condor51
“Whoa! This CA refinery ‘fire’ is a little too convenient.”

That's wacky. You really think Chevron would start their own infrastructure on fire to raise prices??
Come on now; that stuff makes people here at FR look like whackjobs.

19 posted on 08/08/2012 7:03:33 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Encourage all of your Democrat friends to get out and vote on November 7th, the stakes are high.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey

A refinery takes constantly takes flammable liquids, heats them above it’s auto-ignition temperature.

They are dangerous facilities. It is why they pay more, have their own fire fighting crews and go through constant safety training.

Your list does not include hundreds of other fires for the same years.


20 posted on 08/08/2012 7:06:54 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey

A refinery constantly takes flammable liquids, heats them above it’s auto-ignition temperature.

They are dangerous facilities. It is why they pay more, have their own fire fighting crews and go through constant safety training.

Your list does not include hundreds of other fires for the same years.


21 posted on 08/08/2012 7:06:59 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: HereInTheHeartland

Chevron would start their own infrastructure on fire to raise prices

- - - -

Of course, they want their competition to make more money while they are shut down.

(the sad part is, I need a sarcasm tag around here for that statement)


22 posted on 08/08/2012 7:08:34 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: ripley

More info on start of fire:

The leak started as a drip at about 4:15 p.m. Monday, officials said. Chevron — which is required to “immediately” notify the public of any gas leak, fire or oil spill, according to state law — did not consider it an immediate danger to residents nearby.

“At that point in time, there really wasn’t anything we could advise the community to do,” said Mark Ayers, the refinery’s fire chief. “We surely wouldn’t advise anybody to shelter in place.”

The company’s engineers began stripping away insulation on the leaky pipe to investigate the source, which released a vapor of a flammable substance similar to diesel. About two and a half hours later, a conflagration had officials scrambling to warn residents to stay inside.

Chevron officials notified Contra Costa County so it could activate its emergency warning system, said Randy Sawyer, director of the county’s health services agency.

http://fuelfix.com/blog/2012/08/08/chevron-response-to-refinery-fire-under-criticism/


23 posted on 08/08/2012 7:13:50 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: thackney

In other news, you will get wet if you run through a sprinkler.


24 posted on 08/08/2012 7:28:22 AM PDT by ZirconEncrustedTweezers (EAT MOR CHIKIN)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thackney

“...released a vapor of a flammable substance similar to diesel...”

Still doesn’t pass the smell test.

IMHO


25 posted on 08/08/2012 7:30:03 AM PDT by ripley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: ripley

In my opinion, after working projects in multiple refineries, it does.

Cheers


26 posted on 08/08/2012 7:35:28 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: thackney

Why do we need “experts” to tell us that the law of supply and demand has not been rescinded?


27 posted on 08/08/2012 7:51:25 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thackney

“In my opinion, after working projects inmultiple refineries, it does.”

Hoping that it doesn’t sound as if one is entering into tinfoil-hat territory, one wonders what really might have happened if different from the official explanation.

Question: What the heck is a flammable vapor that’s similar to diesel?

Regards.


28 posted on 08/08/2012 7:51:25 AM PDT by ripley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: ripley
Hoping that it doesn’t sound as if one is entering into tinfoil-hat territory, one wonders what really might have happened if different from the official explanation.

Given the huge amount of reporting and 3rd party investigation that goes into every significant refinery, it would a rather foolish act to mislead.

What the heck is a flammable vapor that’s similar to diesel?

A refinery has lots of process units and intermediate steps prior to making a finished product. It will be a vapor because it is so hot in the process. Likely once it cools down after spending time outside the pipe, it would coalesces into a liquid.

It really isn't diesel until all the additives are in sulfur removed and meets the ASTM specification. I read that the fire started in the Crude Unit. That is one of the early steps and essentially no finished refined product comes out of that unit. In a crude distillation tower, the fluid is heated between ~625°F to ~7000°F. Most of the crude oil is turned into vapor at this point.

29 posted on 08/08/2012 8:09:11 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: ripley

Some other units will go even higher temperatures.

Here is an example of the next process, the vacuum distillation taking a deep cut up to 1,000°F to 1,150°F

http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-104/issue-31/processing/refinery-revamp-1-conocophillips-revamps-crude-unit-to-increase-flexibility-profitability.html


30 posted on 08/08/2012 8:15:00 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: thackney

Thanks!


31 posted on 08/08/2012 8:55:16 AM PDT by ripley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: thackney
Only with the complicity of the State could production capacity be so tight.
32 posted on 08/08/2012 9:27:56 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party Switcheroo: Economic crisis! Zero's eligibility Trumped!! Hillary 2012!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thackney
In a crude distillation tower, the fluid is heated between ~625°F to ~7000°F.

I assume that making the unit small with high speed throughput lowers the amount of heat necessary for the process. Yet throughput at this kind of temperature means higher pressure and lots of complicated valving.

How high? I'd guess over a 1,000 psi.

33 posted on 08/08/2012 9:32:09 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party Switcheroo: Economic crisis! Zero's eligibility Trumped!! Hillary 2012!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie
Only with the complicity of the State could production capacity be so tight.

Really? You believe that businesses intending to make a profit routinely build manufacturing capacity they don't use for products exceed the market demand?

34 posted on 08/08/2012 10:25:30 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie
?I assume that making the unit small with high speed throughput lowers the amount of heat necessary for the process.

I don't understand that thought. A mass of material is going to require the delivery of the same amount of BTU's to raise it to a set temperature, regardless of the velocity it moves through the system.

However, as the velocity increases, you have less time to deliver the BTU's requiring either greater heat levels in the exchanger, or larger exchangers to supply enough heat quickly.

35 posted on 08/08/2012 10:28:45 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie
How high? I'd guess over a 1,000 psi.

No, you have to take volume into account. It doesn't automatically go that high just because heat is added because pipe and vessel diameter could be larger downstream.

In the example of the vacuum distillation column up to 1,150°F, that type of unit operates down to 10 mbar (1,000 Pa, 7.5 mmHg).

http://processengineers.blogspot.com/2008/04/oil-refining-vacuum-distillation-vdu.html

36 posted on 08/08/2012 10:40:48 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: thackney
You believe that businesses intending to make a profit routinely build manufacturing capacity they don't use for products exceed the market demand?

Absolutely. I was in a chemical manufacturing business and we did exactly that so that we could meet demand while incurring downtime for maintenance, construction, and upgrades. To us, it was a matter of keeping our customers happy. In California, gasoline producers don't need to worry about that, because of boutique formulations called for by the complicit thugs in the Air Resources Board, chief of whom was a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Yeah, them again, those greenie thugs working for major petrochemical energy investors. You don't want to get it.

An example is that we pay nearly twice the price for gasoline on a cost per mile basis as they do in Texas. I know this from personal experience: We took a cross-country vacation in 2010. We were paying $2.65 for an 86 octane formulation and traveling at 65-70mph in a Chrysler minivan. When we got to Texas we were paying far less than $2 for an 82 octane formulation, and getting 25-27 mpg at 80 mph.

The producers couldn't get away with that without a closed market. That's why the NRDC is their best friend.

37 posted on 08/08/2012 11:34:30 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party Switcheroo: Economic crisis! Zero's eligibility Trumped!! Hillary 2012!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: thackney
I don't understand that thought. A mass of material is going to require the delivery of the same amount of BTU's to raise it to a set temperature, regardless of the velocity it moves through the system.

The thought was that higher pressures would mean more material in a given volume. That means a smaller vessel. That reduces the surface-to-volume ratio for heat transfer and also means a shorter mean free path for the molecules to acquire that heat. So premise was related to efficiency of heat transfer, not the amount of heat a particular mass of material would require. I asked that question because of the risk associated with higher operating pressures at those temperatures.

38 posted on 08/08/2012 11:43:27 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party Switcheroo: Economic crisis! Zero's eligibility Trumped!! Hillary 2012!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie

Okay, I understand why you took it that way.

Material would have to get exotic/expensive if you try to maintain 1,000°F at 1,000 psi.


39 posted on 08/08/2012 12:59:22 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie
Absolutely. I was in a chemical manufacturing business and we did exactly that so that we could meet demand while incurring downtime for maintenance, construction, and upgrades.

Did all of your competition produce the exact same product, same specification? The only difference in gasoline brands is the additives added at the loading rack.

Refining margins are very tight. The don't allow to spend hundreds of millions of dollars per major unit to duplicate capacity and not use it.

40 posted on 08/08/2012 1:02:17 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: thackney
Did all of your competition produce the exact same product, same specification?

Very close. It was a commodity product in the medical device business, sold worldwide.

The only difference in gasoline brands is the additives added at the loading rack.

Not true. California gasoline is very different than the rest of the nation.

Refining margins are very tight. The don't allow to spend hundreds of millions of dollars per major unit to duplicate capacity and not use it.

That is not true either. Across a nation this large and together with a futures market, marginal capacity can be distributed among sellers. The only thing that makes it true in California is the differentiated specification and razor tight production capacity.

The NRDC is the petrochemical industry's best friend, particularly for the way it sues to get regulations that put their competitors out of business and force consumers to use more of their products.

41 posted on 08/08/2012 1:44:22 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party Switcheroo: Economic crisis! Zero's eligibility Trumped!! Hillary 2012!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie
The only difference in gasoline brands is the additives added at the loading rack.

Not true. California gasoline is very different than the rest of the nation.

True enough. Many areas have specific gasoline requirements.

The point I was trying to get to, is that competitors sell the same product, often with the competitions additives stored and loaded at their truck loading racks. California, while have a unique requirement, is not unique in having such a requirement.

Gasoline blending products are routinely shipped to different parts of the nation and blended to meet the local recipe.

42 posted on 08/08/2012 1:55:10 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie
I provided the above gasoline requirements map as an example, but I find it is out of date. The more current map is located here:
43 posted on 08/08/2012 1:58:52 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie

I provided the above gasoline requirements map as an example, but I find it is out of date.

The more current map is located here:

http://www.exxon.com/USA-English/GFM/Files/US_Gasoline_Map.pdf


44 posted on 08/08/2012 1:59:41 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: thackney
Gasoline blending products are routinely shipped to different parts of the nation and blended to meet the local recipe.

If what you were saying was true, then a fire at the Chevron plant in Richmond would affect gas prices nationwide.

It won't. The price increase will only be in locations served by California refineries.

California is a captive market for gasoline producers with a fatter markup and you know it. The reason is regulation of the supply side. The NRDC is the petrochemical industry's best friend.

45 posted on 08/08/2012 2:03:21 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party Switcheroo: Economic crisis! Zero's eligibility Trumped!! Hillary 2012!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie
The 240,000-barrel-a-day plant is operating the fluid catalytic cracker, which processes vacuum gasoil into gasoline and lighter products, off of feedstock stored in tanks, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The refinery is also running one of two units at an Isomax hydrocracking complex at 60 percent capacity and the lube plant at low rates, the person said.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-08-08/chevron-said-to-cut-california-gasoline-production-after-fire

Not the whole nation, just the neighboring areas.

46 posted on 08/08/2012 2:08:28 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: thackney
I was comparing California and Texas.

The price difference between Texas and California today is $0.40 per gallon.

It ain't all taxes.

Oregon and Washington are now using "special" formulations too, which is news to me, thank you.

47 posted on 08/08/2012 2:26:30 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party Switcheroo: Economic crisis! Zero's eligibility Trumped!! Hillary 2012!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: thackney
The point I was trying to get to, is that competitors sell the same product, often with the competitions additives stored and loaded at their truck loading racks. California, while have a unique requirement, is not unique in having such a requirement.

If what you were implying was true, then the price of gasoline would go up, nationwide, because of a refinery fire in California.

It won't. California is a captive market. It will bear nearly the entire market response.

48 posted on 08/08/2012 2:30:15 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party Switcheroo: Economic crisis! Zero's eligibility Trumped!! Hillary 2012!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: thackney
BTW, per your new map, Oregon and Washington are now selling boutique gasoline too. In fact, there are MORE states now specifying boutique gasoline than your old map, this despite the absolute proof that it will raise local prices.

Why? Use of such formulations is pursuant to greenie lawsuits and EPA regulations "forcing" local air quality "attainment targets" set by a complicit Federal bureaucracy.

There is a reason the Environmental Grantmakers' Association was founded with Rockefeller money.

49 posted on 08/08/2012 2:38:22 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party Switcheroo: Economic crisis! Zero's eligibility Trumped!! Hillary 2012!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: HereInTheHeartland
That's wacky. You really think Chevron would start their own infrastructure on fire to raise prices?? Come on now; that stuff makes people here at FR look like whackjobs.

And yet at least 3 posters have suggested Chevron did it. Rolling eyes and wondering how flat the earth is on their planet.

50 posted on 08/08/2012 6:26:28 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-58 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson