Los Angeles gas prices fall for 16th day in a row, likely to keep dropping for a long time
LAS VEGAS — Gasoline prices just fell for the 16th day in a row.
Benny Sieu is selling off his old motorcycle. “I have a Honda. I’ll sell it to someone else for a motorcycle,’’ Sieu said Monday. “I’m going to be riding one for the next two or three years.’’
Gasoline prices fell for a seventh straight day Monday, a sign that the national average is unlikely to be able to climb much higher when national refineries are running below capacity. Refineries were running at about 5.9 percent capacity as of Friday compared with an average of about 13.2 percent the rest of last week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Nationwide refineries still are churning out more gasoline and diesel than they can use.
California’s demand for fuel from its huge refineries, which are largely dependent on exports, rose by only 1.8 percent in October even as the state as a whole saw a 4.9 percent increase.
A year ago, the state took the lead in gasoline demand with a 10.4 percent increase.
California is on track to run at or near its average capacity for many years despite its low production of gasoline. But the state’s capacity to consume crude oil is lower than its production of gasoline, a result of restrictions that were lifted in the summer of California’s current refinery boom.
“California is consuming a very small share of the oil we have,’’ said James Gattuso, senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
The refineries have only been running at capacity for so long that they are not producing much more than they can use, said Gattuso.
“California has run out