Auto Club: Refineries Are Down, Gas Prices Are Up

(LOS ANGELES, June 20, 2003) — Production interruptions at three Northern California gasoline refineries took a bite out of supplies last week causing gasoline prices to jump higher throughout the Southwest, according to the Weekend Gas Watch, compiled by the Automobile Club of Southern California. The increases ended three straight months of price declines.

Currently, the average price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline in the Los Angeles–Long Beach area is $1.779 per gallon, which is 7 cents higher than last week's price, 8 cents lower than last month and 15 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $1.766, which is 8.5 cents above last week's level, 8 cents below last month and 14 cents above last year. Motorists in the central coast have an average price of $1.900, which is 5.9 cents higher than last week's price, 6 cents lower than last month and 20 cents higher than last year.

"Market conditions had pointed to lower prices, but the interruption in production has reversed the downward trend," said Carol Thorp, spokesperson for the Automobile Club of Southern California. "This points out the problem California faces because of its specific gasoline formulation requirements and the limited number of refineries that produce it. With a three day weekend approaching and demand expected to be higher than last year, prices at the pump could stay at their current levels through the July 4th holiday period."

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline at popular destinations for motoring trips. Average prices as of 12:01 a.m., June 20:

Area Regular Change from
last week
Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach $1.779 +7.0 cents $2.167 (3/22/03)
San Diego $1.766 +8.5 cents $2.211 (3/20/03)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc $1.900 +5.9 cents $2.207 (3/22/03)
Las Vegas, NV $1.743 +8.0 cents $2.063 (3/25/03)
Phoenix–Mesa, AZ $1.677 +7.1 cents $2.003 (3/22/03)

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