Auto Club: Gas Prices Rise on Pressure From Tight Supply and Higher Crude Oil Prices

Weekly Fuel Prices Report

(LOS ANGELES, Feb. 18, 2005) — Gasoline prices moved sharply higher last week on the twin factors of tight supply caused by the annual turnaround at California refineries and rising crude oil prices, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles–Long Beach area is $2.159 a gallon, which is 6.3 cents higher than last week, 18 cents higher than last month and 24 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.158, which is 5.9 cents higher than last week, 16 cents above last month and 22 cents above last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $2.283, which is up 6.3 cents from last week, 17 cents higher than last month and 28 cents higher than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average price is $2.171, which is up 7.5 cents from last week, 19 cents above last month and 23 cents above last year.

"California refineries are in the middle of the annual turnaround, when maintenance is performed and the switch from winter grade to summer grade is completed. This process limits supply and causes prices to increase," said Auto Club spokeswoman Carol Thorp. "Crude oil prices have also climbed higher in the past week because investors are unsettled by continuing instability in the Middle East."

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline as of 12:01 a.m., Feb. 18.

Area Regular Change Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach $2.159 + 6.3 cents $2.446 (10/21/2004)
Orange County $2.144 + 7.1 cents $2.441 (10/23/2004)
San Diego $2.158 + 5.9 cents $2.464 (10/21/2004)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc $2.283 + 6.3 cents $2.570 (10/22/2004)
Riverside–San Bernardino $2.171 + 7.5 cents $2.461 (10/21/2004)
Bakersfield $2.142 + 4.5 cents $2.437 (10/23/2004)
Las Vegas, NV $2.067 + 4.4 cents $2.290 (10/20/2004)

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