(Newsroom America) -- Average gasoline prices are expected to rise to $4 a gallon on the West Coast following a fire that disabled a key section of one of the nation's largest oil refineries.
In the fire's wake, a team of investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board that examined the causes of the oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico are standing by with state and company inspectors awaiting the results of structural tests, to see if the unit is safe to enter.
In all, five investigations will be conducted to determine the cause of the fire Monday at Chevron's Richmond facility.
Industry analysts believe gas prices may even rise beyond the $4 mark in some parts of the West Coast, reports said Friday.
"This is an important accident in its own right, it was a large fire and has the potential to affect fuel supplies and prices," Dr. Daniel Horowitz, a member of the chemical board, said, according to The Associated Press.
Gas price-tracking Web site Gasbuddy.com reported that prices jumped from $3.86 a gallon Tuesday to $3.94 a gallon by Thursday.
Some analysts believe the price increase - and how long it will last - depend in large part on how quickly Chevron can repair its facility.
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