press release

Unocal's 76 Products Company president comments on industry-wide gasoline price increases

Costa Mesa, Calif., April 24, 1996 -- Lawrence M. Higby, president of Southern California-based Unocal's 76 Products Company, today issued a statement regarding the industry-wide gasoline price increases that have dominated the news recently.

"During the past month, an unusual sequence of events has resulted in an escalation of gasoline prices, particularly on the West Coast," Higby said.

"First, world crude prices are the highest they have been since the Persian Gulf War, with crude oil increasing between $5-$6 per barrel, or 25 percent more in April than in January 1996. According to the California Energy Commission this unexpected increase, within a brief three-month span, translates into approximately 12.5 cents more per gallon.

"Second, a number of unpredictable problems at refineries resulting in lower gasoline production, particularly in California, further decreased gasoline supply and has forced price increases, adding an estimated 7 to 8 cents more per gallon.

"Finally, the state-mandated introduction of cleaner-burning gasoline -- which will remove the emissions equivalent of 3.5 million cars from California roads each day and is regarded as a major step toward cleaner air for all of us -- has, as predicted by the California Air Resources Board and industry sources, increased the per-gallon price of gasoline by approximately 10 cents.

"Unocal 76 believes that the price of gasoline will moderate as gasoline supplies and inventory improve. We continue to monitor this situation on a daily basis, and agree with the California Energy Commission's report on April 22, indicating West Coast gasoline supplies are on the increase," Higby said.

Orange County-based 76 Products Company, the marketing, refining, product supply and transportation unit of Unocal Corporation (NYSE: UCL), offers gasoline plus a variety of convenience products and services to customers through a network of approximately 1,200 branded Unocal 76 retail sites in the West and Hawaii.

Updated: April 1996