Gas Prices Pause, But Production Problems Loom

Weekly Fuel Prices Report

(LOS ANGELES, August 26, 2005) — In a volatile week for gasoline, prices set new record highs, then dipped, but still ended up slightly higher than last week. Now, production problems are occurring following interruptions at two major refineries in the Bay Area, 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 $2.794, which is two-tenths of a cent higher than last week, 23 cents higher than last month and 75 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.819 — four-tenths of a cent above last week's price, 21 cents above last month and 73 cents above last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $2.886, up 1.5 cents from last week, 22 cents higher than last month and 64 cents higher than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average price is $2.786, up one cent from last week, 23 cents above last month and 71 cents higher than last year.

"Shell and Tesoro refineries in Martinez, California experienced major problems this week and production is expected to be interrupted for several more days, at least," Auto Club spokeswoman Carol Thorp said. "When combined with concerns about hurricanes affecting Gulf of Mexico oil production, motorists could experience new record high prices for gasoline as early as next week if supply to our region is reduced."

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline as of 12:01 a.m., August 26:

Area Regular Change Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach $2.794 + 0.2 cent $2.805 (08/21/2005)
Orange County $2.774 - 0.5 cent $2.786 (08/22/2005)
San Diego $2.819 + 0.4 cent $2.826 (08/21/2005)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc $2.886 + 1.5 cents $2.894 (08/24/2005)
Riverside–San Bernardino $2.786 + 1.0 cent $2.793 (08/22/2005)
Bakersfield $2.805 + 2.7 cents $2.805 (08/25/2005)
Las Vegas, NV $2.663 + 2.6 cents $2.672 (08/22/2005)

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