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San Diego could soon see average gas prices surpass the $6 mark

A strike at a large oil refinery in the Bay Area, which supplies about 13% of California's production capacity, could impact fuel prices throughout the state.

SAN DIEGO — With an oil refinery strike now underway in the Bay Area, some analysts believe that the average cost of a gallon of gas, which was $5.92 in San Diego on Monday, will surpass the $6 mark this week. 

At many local stations, that price is already a reality. 

At one station in Oceanside, the cost of a gallon of gas is already closer to $7 than to $6.

One driver said he is now relying on both the power of prayer and on public transportation in the face of these skyrocketing costs. 

"$6.69! I'm not going to be able to drive any more," he told CBS 8. "We just got to pray and hope that things get better because this is ridiculous, man!  I got to go back to taking the bus."

Some analysts believe those prices statewide will continue to edge upward in the coming days and weeks, not only with the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, but also with the strike by hundreds of workers at a large Chevron refinery in Richmond. That facility produces gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, supplying about 13% of California's production capacity.

"We're just looking for a little respect." said union spokesperson B.K. White "We are looking for a fair and equitable contract, something that is palatable to our people."

Workers, who walked off the job Monday morning,  are asking for a five percent increase in pay to keep up with the rise in inflation. 

"It's the same with us as it is with other blue collar workers around the nation,' White added. "We're just tired. We are tired of seeing corporations take advantage of the profits that are made off our backs."

In a statement, Chevron said they believe that their contract offer is "fair, competitive and responsive" to the union's concerns, adding that they're "ready to continue discussions."

In the meantime, Chevron has already brought in hundreds of trained workers to take the place of striking employees.

"It is coming at a very unfortunate time," said Severin Borenstein, a business professor at U.C. Berkeley

"We already have a shortage of refinery capacity in California right now," he added, "and so losing even one or two percent of the state's refinery capacity would probably result in a noticeable increase in gasoline prices."

For an interactive map to help you in your search for the cheapest gas prices in San Diego County, click here.

WATCH RELATED: CBS 8’s interactive gas map can save you big bucks on your next fill-up 


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