California Consumers Drive Chevron To Record Refining Profits In First Nine Months

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Santa Monica, CA — Chevron today reported its highest U.S. refining profits for the first nine months of the year—a whopping $2.6 billion as compared to $1.7 billion for the same period last year. Since 54 percent of the company’s refining takes place in California, California drivers paid the price, Consumer Watchdog said today.

“Chevron’s results reinforce the fact that our gasoline market is stacked against consumers by oil companies that routinely manipulate the supply and price of gasoline,” said Consumer Advocate Liza Tucker. “Instead of passing through savings from tanking crude oil prices, these companies keep a larger and larger share of the profit because they can.”

Chevron reported a U.S. refining profit of $1.2 billion for the three months ended September 30, beating the highest quarterly earnings from downstream operations that the company ever reported of $1.03 billion for the 4th quarter of 2008.



Valero and Tesoro, two refiners that just reported California-specific profits, this week also reported their most lucrative California quarters ever. Their quarterly reports for July through September help explain why Californians have paid a dollar per gallon over the US average during 2015.

For Valero and Tesoro profits, see:

Chevron attributed the refining profits to “strong West Coast margins” in addition to some favorable tax effects and the absence of a second quarter turnaround at its El Segundo refinery, which improved volumes and kept down operating expenses.

On a conference all with financial analysts, Chevron CEO John Watson lamented an oversupply of crude oil and said the timing was uncertain on a rebound in prices. “The market is producing more than consumers want,” he said…. “Nobody makes money at a dollar fifty gas where [prices] remain now.” But Chevron and other California refineries are making plenty of money off of Californians.  According to, the average price for a gallon of gas in California is $2.82. The U.S. average is $2.18, according to AAA.

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Liza Tucker
Liza Tucker
Liza Tucker is a consumer advocate for Consumer Watchdog, following everything from oil and gas to the regulation of toxic substances in the state of California. She comes to us from Marketplace, the largest U.S. broadcast show on business and economics heard by ten million listeners each week on 400 radio stations. Liza worked at this public radio show for a decade, first as Commentary Editor and then as Senior Editor for both Washington and Sustainability News.

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