Southern California gas prices spiked nine cents in the last 24 hours – the highest one-day increase of 2012 – after a “perfect storm” of record low inventory coupled with refinery incidents brought large price spikes to the wholesale gasoline market, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Weekend Gas Watch. The state average is $4.315 a gallon for regular today – 18.2 cents higher than last week.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.347 per gallon, which is 20.7 cents more than last week, 17 cents higher than last month, and 51 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $4.328, 21 cents above last week, 18 cents above last month, and 51 cents higher than last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.365, up 19.2 cents from last week, 14.7 cents higher than a month ago, and 49.5 cents above last year. In the Inland Empire, the average per gallon price is $4.298, up 18.9 cents from last week, 15.6 cents higher than last month, and 48 cents more than last year.
“Reportedly in recent weeks, local refineries were dropping production levels, exporting supply to Mexico and other countries, and allowing inventory to dwindle in anticipation of switching over to production of ‘winter blend’ gasoline, then a refinery power outage and a pipeline incident occurred on Monday that sent wholesale markets into a panic about the adequacy of California fuel supplies,” said Auto Club spokesperson Jeffrey Spring. “We’re easily on track in the next day or two to break the 2012 record for gas prices, but it’s not clear how much higher it will go beyond that. A lot depends on whether the perceived supply issues are quickly addressed.”
The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Oct. 4, averages are:
Los Angeles – Long Beach
Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – Lompoc
Riverside – San Bernardino