Auto Club: Average Monthly Gas Price Hits Record High for March

(LOS ANGELES, Mar. 16, 2004) ? The average monthly price of regular gasoline in Southern California climbed another 26 cents from February to reach an all-time March high of $2.20 per gallon for regular self-serve unleaded gasoline, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California?s monthly Fuel Gauge Report. While this is a record monthly high, daily averages during the prior two weeks have climbed over $2.25 a gallon in some areas and are beginning to come down.

"Wholesale prices have dropped about 30 cents in three weeks and we?re just starting to see that reduction in prices being passed through at the pump," said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. "Prices are going down slowly, but at least they are going down. With most refineries having completed their change from winter to summer formulation gasoline, supplies are still tight, but they are a little better than in prior weeks. The key concern continues to be high crude oil prices and OPEC?s determination to reduce production in April. We?ll have to see how that affects prices at the pump during the summer months."

The Southern California average price for regular self-serve unleaded gasoline is $2.20, up from $1.939 on Feb. 17, 2004. The previous highest March Fuel Gauge Report price was in 2003 at $2.08.

The lowest average price in Southern California is Visalia, where drivers can pump regular self-serve unleaded gasoline for an average $2.09, and the highest price is in Del Mar and Blythe, where regular goes for an average $2.289 and $2.288 respectively. San Francisco Bay-area motorists now pay an average of $2.17, up from $1.90 in February. Nationally, prices are up 8 cents since the February AAA survey and now average $1.72 per gallon.

In Southern California, the averages for regular and premium grades of gasoline are listed below:

County/City

Unl

Pre

Unl. Feb. 17

Pre. Feb. 17

Imperial County

El Centro

2.234

2.439

1.932

2.049

Inyo County

Bishop

2.199

n/a

1.926

2.094

Kern County

Bakersfield

2.127

2.309

1.862

2.029

Ridgecrest

2.143

2.325

1.899

2.067

Los Angeles County

Alhambra

2.130

2.344

1.939

1.999

Arcadia

2.178

2.399

1.915

1.975

Burbank

2.140

2.309

1.875

2.112

Culver City

2.277

2.446

1.977

2.089

Glendale

2.139

2.308

1.887

2.224

Glendora

2.175

2.424

1.884

2.079

Inglewood

2.172

2.339

1.938

2.094

Lancaster

2.182

2.351

1.924

2.119

Long Beach

2.171

2.350

1.918

2.067

Los Angeles

2.183

2.367

1.926

2.126

Manhattan Beach

2.255

2.429

2.004

2.207

Montebello

2.213

2.399

1.941

2.144

Santa Clarita

2.186

2.355

1.959

2.119

Santa Monica

2.235

2.499

1.959

2.289

Van Nuys

2.161

2.324

1.898

2.034

Whittier

2.183

2.352

1.910

2.199

Woodland Hills

2.193

2.439

1.944

2.139

Orange County

Anaheim

2.135

2.333

1.856

2.109

Fullerton

2.145

2.304

1.870

2.059

Huntington Beach

2.160

2.343

1.898

2.066

La Habra

2.115

2.299

1.865

2.059

Laguna Beach

2.279

2.463

2.019

2.179

Newport Beach

2.247

2.449

1.975

2.219

San Clemente

2.216

2.439

1.994

2.109

Tustin

2.203

2.393

1.930

2.084

Riverside County

Blythe

2.288

2.522

2.020

2.199

Hemet

2.177

2.349

1.905

2.082

Palm Springs

2.317

2.499

2.023

2.209

Riverside

2.169

2.269

1.913

2.096

San Bernardino County

Redlands

2.269

2.453

2.079

2.279

San Bernardino

2.229

2.413

1.966

2.113

Victorville

2.249

2.433

1.898

2.045

San Diego County

Chula Vista

2.254

2.559

1.969

2.226

Del Mar

2.289

2.379

1.999

2.099

Escondido

2.131

2.306

1.917

2.102

Oceanside

2.202

2.439

1.975

2.179

San Diego

2.219

2.419

1.959

2.171

San Luis Obispo County

San Luis Obispo

2.224

n/a

1.978

2.229

Santa Barbara County

Lompoc

2.256

2.538

1.979

2.145

Santa Barbara

2.277

2.559

2.043

2.209

Santa Maria

2.231

2.513

1.986

2.099

Tulare County

Porterville

2.149

2.431

1.836

1.972

Visalia

2.095

2.229

1.863

1.999

Ventura County

Ventura

2.187

2.359

1.965

2.146

So. Calif. Avg.

2.200

2.395

1.939

2.120

The Auto Club?s Fuel Gauge Report is based on data gathered from monitoring fuel transactions at 2,800 Southern California gas stations. Oil Price Information Service ? the nation?s most comprehensive source of petroleum pricing information, provides the data.

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