Auto Club: Gas Prices Spike in Most Areasas Expected Upturn Arrives

Weekly Fuel Prices Report

(LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4, 2005) — Gasoline prices turned sharply higher last week as Southern California's flirtation with sub-$2 per gallon gas ended, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. Scheduled maintenance at California's refineries and crude oil futures trading in the $46 range are factors in the pump price run-up.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles–Long Beach area is $2.099 a gallon, which is 10.1 cents higher than last week, seven cents higher than last month and 30 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.083, which is 7.2 cents higher than last week, three cents above last month and 26 cents above last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $2.180, which is up 3.9 cents from last week, five cents higher than last month and 34 cents higher than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average price is $2.092, which is up 7.5 cents from last week, six cents above last month and 29 cents above last year.

"Our supply of gasoline gets tight at this time of year because the state's refineries schedule January and February to do maintenance. Also, the refiners are preparing to switch from making winter-grade to summer-grade fuel," said Auto Club spokeswoman Carol Thorp. "Another factor has been high crude oil prices. Crude oil futures have been trading in the $46 range because of fears that political instability in Iraq will continue for some time."

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline as of 12:01 a.m., Feb. 4.

Area Regular Change Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach $2.099 +10.1 cents $2.446 (10/21/2004)
Orange County $2.076 +9.8 cents $2.441 (10/23/2004)
San Diego $2.083 +7.2 cents $2.464 (10/21/2004)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc  $2.180 +3.9 cents $2.570 (10/22/2004)
Riverside–San Bernardino $2.092 +7.5 cents $2.461 (10/21/2004)
Bakersfield $2.077 +5.9 cents $2.437 (10/23/2004)
Las Vegas, NV $1.987 +6.8 cents $2.290 (10/20/2004)

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