Gasoline Price Breakdown - This page details the estimated gross margins for both refiners and distributors. The term "margin" includes both costs and profits. The margin data is based on the statewide average retail and wholesale price of gasoline for a single day of the week. It is not a seven-day average. The margin provided here is an indicator for the California market as a whole and not for any particular refiner or retailer of gasoline.

The Energy Commission cannot estimate profit margins based on average retail prices and observed wholesale market prices. This is because detailed data on refining and distribution costs, costs paid by approximately 10,000 retail locations, hundreds of wholesale marketers, jobbers, and distributors is not available.

The following provides specific information on how the data in the tables are calculated.

Refiner Margin - Refiner Margin (costs and profits) is calculated by subtracting the market price for crude oil from the wholesale price of gasoline. The result is a gross refining margin which includes the cost of operating the refinery as well as the profits for the refining company.

The price of crude oil is based on the daily market price for crude oil from the Alaska North Slope published in the Wall Street Journal©. The market price of crude oil also includes its own share of costs and profits. In the case of a vertically integrated oil company, the same company that owns and operates the oil field also owns and operates the refinery. Several vertically integrated oil companies operate in California including BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell.

For simplicity, the refining margins shown are based on producing one barrel of gasoline from one barrel of crude oil. No adjustments are made for other refined products.

Distribution Margin - Distribution margin (distribution costs, marketing costs, and profits) is calculated by subtracting the wholesale gasoline price (either branded or unbranded) and taxes (state sales tax, state excise tax, federal excise tax, and a state underground storage tank fee) from the weekly average retail sales price. The branded wholesale gasoline price is based on the average statewide branded refined "rack" price, information obtained from the Oil Price Information Service (www.opisnet.com). The rack price is the price paid at the point where tanker trucks load their fuel from a distribution terminal's loading rack. The unbranded price is also based on OPIS pricing information.

The distribution margin can be either positive or negative in value. A negative distribution margin implies that some gasoline is being sold at a loss. Similar to the refining margin, the distribution margin also includes the costs and profits of operating the retail gas station as well as various transportation and storage fees incurred once gasoline is moved from the bulk terminal to the retailer. Most branded franchisees purchase gasoline at a delivered price called the Dealer Tank Wagon price that is typically higher than the branded rack price. A retail-specific margin is not available at this time.

Table Definitions



Aug 26

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.410$0.650
Crude Oil Costs$1.430$1.430
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.850$0.610
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.076$0.076
State Excise Tax$0.473$0.473
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.440$3.440

Aug 19

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.450$0.690
Crude Oil Costs$1.470$1.470
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.790$0.550
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.076$0.076
State Excise Tax$0.473$0.473
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.460$3.460

Aug 12

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.540$0.770
Crude Oil Costs$1.440$1.440
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.760$0.520
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.077$0.077
State Excise Tax$0.473$0.473
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.490$3.490

Aug 05

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.450$0.720
Crude Oil Costs$1.470$1.470
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.860$0.590
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.078$0.078
State Excise Tax$0.473$0.473
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.540$3.540

Jul 29

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.400$0.620
Crude Oil Costs$1.550$1.550
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.850$0.620
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.078$0.078
State Excise Tax$0.473$0.473
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.550$3.550

Jul 22

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.480$0.750
Crude Oil Costs$1.530$1.530
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.800$0.530
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.079$0.079
State Excise Tax$0.473$0.473
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.570$3.570

Jul 15

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.400$0.650
Crude Oil Costs$1.610$1.610
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.840$0.590
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.079$0.079
State Excise Tax$0.473$0.473
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.610$3.610

Jul 08

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.410$0.610
Crude Oil Costs$1.590$1.590
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.870$0.670
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.080$0.080
State Excise Tax$0.473$0.473
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.630$3.630

Jul 01

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.330$0.530
Crude Oil Costs$1.620$1.620
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.910$0.720
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.080$0.080
State Excise Tax$0.473$0.473
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.620$3.620

Jun 24

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.550$0.740
Crude Oil Costs$1.600$1.600
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.770$0.580
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.080$0.080
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.610$3.610

Jun 17

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.610$0.780
Crude Oil Costs$1.400$1.400
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.960$0.790
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.081$0.810
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.680$3.680

Jun 10

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.580$0.720
Crude Oil Costs$1.500$1.500
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.960$0.820
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.082$0.084
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.750$3.750

Jun 03

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.620$0.740
Crude Oil Costs$1.490$1.490
Refinery Cost and Profit$1.010$0.890
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.084$0.084
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.830$3.830

May 27

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.540$0.610
Crude Oil Costs$1.630$1.630
Refinery Cost and Profit$1.000$0.940
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.085$0.085
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.880$3.880

May 20

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.520$0.510
Crude Oil Costs$1.730$1.730
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.970$0.980
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.087$0.087
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.930$3.930

May 13

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.570$0.570
Crude Oil Costs$1.670$1.670
Refinery Cost and Profit$1.020$1.020
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.087$0.087
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.970$3.970

May 06

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.440$0.410
Crude Oil Costs$1.690$1.690
Refinery Cost and Profit$1.170$1.200
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.088$0.088
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$4.010$4.010

Apr 29

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.390$0.350
Crude Oil Costs$1.710$1.710
Refinery Cost and Profit$1.170$1.210
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.088$0.088
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.980$3.980

Apr 22

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.460$0.400
Crude Oil Costs$1.760$1.760
Refinery Cost and Profit$1.020$1.070
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.087$0.087
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.950$3.950

Apr 15

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.400$0.350
Crude Oil Costs$1.710$1.710
Refinery Cost and Profit$1.100$1.150
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$.0200$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.086$0.086
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.920$3.920

Apr 08

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.280$0.220
Crude Oil Costs$1.730$1.730
Refinery Cost and Profit$1.010$1.070
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.082$0.082
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.720$3.720

Apr 01

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.350$0.320
Crude Oil Costs$1.670$1.670
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.810$0.840
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.078$0.078
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.530$3.530

Mar 25

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.310$0.320
Crude Oil Costs$1.620$1.620
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.760$0.750
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.075$0.075
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.390$3.390

Mar 18

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.360$0.370
Crude Oil Costs$1.630$1.630
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.580$0.570
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.072$0.072
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.260$3.260

Mar 11

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.340$0.380
Crude Oil Costs$1.610$1.610
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.580$0.550
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.071$0.071
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.220$3.220

Mar 04

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.390$0.440
Crude Oil Costs$1.600$1.600
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.510$0.460
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.070$0.070
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.200$3.200

Feb 25

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.370$0.450
Crude Oil Costs$1.580$1.580
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.550$0.470
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.070$0.070
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.180$3.180

Feb 18

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.370$0.440
Crude Oil Costs$1.600$1.600
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.500$0.440
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.070$0.070
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.160$3.160

Feb 11

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.390$0.470
Crude Oil Costs$1.480$1.480
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.600$0.520
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.069$0.069
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.160$3.160

Feb 04

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.410$0.440
Crude Oil Costs$1.500$1.500
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.530$0.510
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.069$0.069
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.130$3.130

Jan 28

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.520$0.520
Crude Oil Costs$1.430$1.430
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.490$0.490
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.069$0.069
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.130$3.130

Jan 21

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.420$0.470
Crude Oil Costs$1.490$1.490
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.550$0.500
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.069$0.069
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.150$3.150

Jan 14

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.520$0.560
Crude Oil Costs$1.420$1.420
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.530$0.490
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.070$0.070
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.160$3.160

Jan 07

 BrandedUnbranded
Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs and Profits$0.540$0.620
Crude Oil Costs$1.380$1.380
Refinery Cost and Profit$0.570$0.490
State Underground Storage Tank Fee$0.020$0.020
State and Local Tax$0.070$0.070
State Excise Tax$0.417$0.417
Federal Excise Tax$0.184$0.184
Retail Prices$3.180$3.180

Definitions

Wholesale Gasoline Price: The average wholesale gasoline price is the average of 13 unbranded and 13 branded wholesale prices at various wholesale fuel loading racks around the state. This average price is for a single day. The wholesale gasoline price is calculated for the same day as EIA's weekly average gasoline price.

Branded and Unbranded Gasoline: Branded gasoline refers to fuel that is sold under a brand name (such as BP, Shell, Exxon, Chevron, and Valero). Branded gasoline will include proprietary fuel additives. Unbranded gasoline is not associated with a specific brand name, and is typically sold by single-station retail outlets, relatively small chain retailers that specialize is gasoline sales, and large supermarket chain stores (such as Costco and Safeway).

Distribution Costs, Marketing Costs, and Profits: The costs associated with the distribution from terminals to stations and retailing of gasoline, including but not limited to: franchise fees, and/or rents, wages, utilities, supplies, equipment maintenance, environmental fees, licenses, permitting fees, credit card fees, insurance, depreciation, advertising, and profit.

Crude Oil Cost: The daily market price of Alaska North Slope crude oil which is used as a proxy for this composite crude oil acquisition cost for California refineries.

Refinery Costs and Profits: The costs associated with refining and terminal operations, crude oil processing, oxygenate additives, product shipment and storage, oil spill fees, depreciation, purchases of gasoline to cover refinery shortages, brand advertising, and profits.

State Underground Storage Tank Fee: The state underground storage tank fee is currently 2.0 cents per gallon.

State and Local Sales Tax: An average state sales tax rate of 2.25% percent is used in the calculation of the distribution margin although the actual sales tax rate does vary throughout California.

State Excise Tax: The California state excise tax is currently 47.3 cents per gallon.

Federal Excise Tax: The federal excise tax is currently 18.4 cents per gallon.

Retail Gasoline Price: The weekly average price for California from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) (http://www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/wrgp/mogas_home_page.html).