For a while all the bad news about refinery problems seemed to be contained to the northeast. Not any more...

This weekend a major fire that started Friday at the BP Cherry Point Refinery in Blaine, Washington has left the refinery unable to take in its daily intake capacity (230,000 barrels per day), much of which arrives from Alaska. Approximately 90 percent of the crude oil refined there emerges as transport fuels making it the largest marketer of gasoline and jet fuel on the West Coast.

Local media report that a key link called a "crude vacuum distillation unit" was so badly burned that BP experts, as of today, had not yet approached it to assess the damage.

KPSP Local2 News said the fire has caused a spike in wholesale futures prices of 7.5 cents per gallon. The wholesale futures price had already gone up 33.5 cents per gallon in the past month. Consequently, wholesale gas prices spiked all along the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada as the refinery is situated near the U.S.-Canada border and sells fuel to wholesale markets from Vancouver to San Diego.

Los Angeles gas prices are now at $4.07; versus $3.88 a week ago.
Portland gas prices have climbed from $3.51 last week to $3.66 today.

The refinery is on a massive sprawl of 3,300 acres and was built in 1971, making it one of the newer refineries in the U.S. Until this weekend, it was producing 3.5 million gallons of gasoline; 2.5 million gallons of jet fuel; and 2.2 million gallons of diesel per day.