LA MESA, Calif. - Gas prices are rising rapidly in San Diego County and some stations could soon run out of gasoline, a La Mesa store owner said Wednesday.
Dave Hallak, owner of Emerald Oil at 5600 Baltimore Drive, received a call Wednesday morning from his gasoline supplier saying he won't be getting more gasoline until mid-October.
“My supplier said there’s no gas available in San Diego,” said Hallak. “He said 'all the racks are down in Southern California and there’s very tight supply, if any.'”
The problem could be stemming from issues at several California refineries. It started when a large fire broke out at a Chevron refinery in the Bay Area in August. Bloomberg News also reported an October 1 power outage at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance, Calif. A Chevron oil pipeline also shut down last month. The issues impact production.
Hallak thinks his pumps might run dry by Sunday. He said other independent gas stations will likely have the same problem, because they rely on major distributors for their supply.
“We get their overflow, their excess gas or they allocate so much for us,” said Hallak. “Their allocation to us right now is zero.”
Hallak said this is forcing him to raise the price at his pumps. A regular gallon of gas there is now $4.59, which surprised Barry Smith, a regular customer.
“Bit of a shock,” said Smith. “Not going to fill up with gas this time around.”
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County recorded its largest daily increase since Feb. 23 Wednesday, rising 5.8 cents to $4.236 -- its highest amount since June 1. That’s 45 cents more per gallon than the national average.
The average price has risen for five consecutive days and is 11.5 cents more than one week ago, 8.6 cents higher than one month ago and 40.7 cents greater than one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.
“As of right now, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel for us,” said Hallak.