RICHMOND (CBS 5) — Chevron’s 245,000-barrels-per-day Richmond refinery could be shut for a couple of months following this week’s fire at the plant’s crude unit, a union official told CBS 5 on Wednesday.

There was no immediate confirmation from Chevron.

The representative of the United Steelworkers union said Monday’s fire severely damaged the crude unit, including burning the unit’s cooling tower. The union leader estimated that it could take a couple of months to make the needed repairs.

Complete Coverage Of The Richmond Chevron Refinery Fire
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Earlier in the day, Chevron indictaed that the other parts of refinery’s operations continued to operate.

However, the union leader told CBS 5 that without the crude unit, the refinery only has enough product in-house to run for another week.

An extended shutdown of the refinery, which is one of the largest in California, would likely cause gas prices in the state to surge past $4 a gallon on average, analysts have said.

“Spot prices have already increased by as much as 30 cents per gallon in some West Coast markets and that’s before the refinery damage has been fully assessed,” analyst Patrick DeHaan of the website told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

(Copyright 2012 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)


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