Gas Prices Peak, Start Trickling Down

(LOS ANGELES, September 9, 2005) — Gas prices in most Southern California areas stopped setting new daily records earlier this week, but are unlikely to dramatically decrease soon as the effects of Hurricane Katrina continue to be felt nationwide, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch.

Production problems at two Northern California refineries have reportedly been resolved, which should help put some downward pressure on local prices, say oil industry analysts. But because of hurricane-related gas supply issues in other parts of the country, no big price decreases are expected soon in California.

Gas price averages in Los Angeles and Orange counties stopped just shy of $3 a gallon earlier this week before retreating slightly. The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles–Long Beach area is $2.992, which is 13.7 cents higher than last week, 35 cents higher than last month and 90 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $3.03 — 13.4 cents above last week's price, 35 cents above last month and 91 cents above last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $3.109, up 17.1 cents from last week, 38 cents higher than last month and 81 cents higher than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average price is $3.025, up 16.4 cents from last week, 40 cents above last month and 92 cents higher than last year.

"As more refineries have resumed higher production levels, we're seeing prices level off," said Auto Club spokeswoman Carol Thorp. "However, it's still too soon to say when and by how much prices will drop."

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline as of 12:01 a.m., September 9:

AreaRegularChangeRecord Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach$2.992+ 13.7 cents$2.999 (09/06/2005)
Orange County$2.961+ 11.4 cents$2.970 (09/06/2005)
San Diego$3.030+ 13.4 cents$3.060 (09/05/2005)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc$3.109+ 17.1 cents$3.111 (09/07/2005)
Riverside–San Bernardino$3.025+ 16.4 cents$3.029 (09/07/2005)
Bakersfield$3.158+ 24.8 cents$3.158 (09/08/2005)
Las Vegas, NV$2.968+ 25.4 cents$2.968 (09/08/2005)