It's not good news for motorists in Hawaii: Tesoro plans to shutter its lone refinery in the Aloha state, leaving Chevron's smaller 54,000 barrel per day plant as the sole refinery left in the island state. "I think the affects of the refinery are probably and should be very minimal because shipping gasoline around the world is so simple and efficient these days," added former Chevron station operator Frank Young, according to a
Hawaii News Now story.
Young might want to explain how an already isolated state would only feel "minimal" impacts if Hawaii's lone refinery would suffer setbacks, like it did
in 2011, thanks to a unit going down. GasBuddy data shows that average gasoline prices in Hawaii were $3.48 December 5, before the refinery problem, rising to $3.65 by December 22. Futhermore, the shutdown now means Hawaii will be more dependent on supplies from the U.S. West Coast. Just last year, the West Coast was marred by refinery kinks including two major refinery fires and several outages, which led California to see its fastest increase in gasoline prices ever. With the shutdown in Hawaii, it is highly likely that motorists notice more pricing volatility as they become more dependent on imports for their supply of gasoline.
"Less competition is never good for a market, and there's absolutely nothing positive coming from this shutdown- there's a loss of jobs, loss of security, and loss of competition," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst, GasBuddy.com.
State officials and gasoline station operators maintain that any disruptions will be minimal since there's a glut of petroleum products that could be shipped into Hawaii. Anyone want to make a bet?