Southern California gas prices top $5 average for first time

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The LA County average price has risen 30 times in 33 days.

By CITY NEWS SERVICE

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties on Friday recorded their largest increases since July 2015.

The Los Angeles County average price rose 13.8 cents to $5.152, and the Orange County average price increased 14.5 cents to $5.135, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The LA County average price has risen 30 times in 33 days, increasing 48.3 cents, including 8.6 cents Thursday, setting records 26 of the past 28 days. It is 30.4 cents more than one week ago, 43.1 cents higher than one month ago and $1.383 greater than one year ago.

The Orange County average price topped $5 for the first time Friday, at $5.135, setting its 25th record in 30 days. It has increased 20 of the past 22 days, rising 41.3 cents, including 8.6 cents Thursday.

The OC average price is 30.8 cents more than one week ago, 42.9 cents higher than one month ago and $1.385 greater than one year ago.

Riverside County surpassed $5 for the first time today, thanks to the largest daily increase since July 14, 2015, rising 12.4 cents to $5.036.

The average price has risen 29 of the past 33 days, increasing 44.3 cents, and set records 15 of the past 16 days, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 27.4 cents more than one week ago, 40.6 cents higher than one month ago and $1.341 greater than one year ago.

The average price in San Bernardino rose to $5.042, jumping 12 cents in a day.

California’s statewide average jumped 13 cents overnight to $5.07 a gallon, making it the first state ever to have an average price above $5 a gallon.

There are now nine states — California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania, where the average price is already over $4 a gallon, with New York and Pennsylvania crossing the $4 mark with the latest reading.

Two more states — Arizona and Connecticut, as well as Washington, DC, are only pennies away from that $4 average.

Oil industry analysts attribute the price spike to the possibility of a supply shortage because traders, shippers, insurance companies and banks are avoiding Russian oil transactions for fear of running afoul of Western sanctions.

The end of the price spike is “largely dependent on world events and oil prices, as well as California’s gasoline supply issues which often tend to occur in the spring months,” said Marie Montgomery, a public relations specialist with the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Crude oil costs account for slightly more than half of the pump price, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The rest of the price includes the other components of gasoline, production costs, distribution costs, overhead costs for all involved in production, distribution and sales, taxes and carbon offset fees in California paid by the refineries.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude for May delivery on the Intercontinental Exchange dropped $2.47 to $110.46 Thursday, one day after rising to its highest settlement value since June 27, 2014, $112.93. Brent crude is the global oil benchmark, accounting for approximately 80% of the world’s crude oil.

CNN contributed to this report.

Source: LA Daily News

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