Auto Club: Speculators Send Local Gas Prices Higher for the Fifth Straight Week

Weekly Fuel Prices Report

(LOS ANGELES, February 3, 2006) — The expectation that gasoline prices will be higher this spring has sent speculators on a buying spree, bidding up prices, and motorists are feeling the increase at the pump for the fifth consecutive week, 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 $2.590, which is 8.1 cents higher than last week, 38 cents higher than last month and 50 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.599 - 5.1 cents above last week's price, 31 cents above last month and 52 cents above last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $2.734, up 7.3 cents from last week, 35 cents higher than last month and 51 cents higher than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average price is $2.606, up 7.7 cents from last week, 36 cents above last month and 52 cents higher than last year.

"The relationship between supply and demand is relatively balanced in California, so normally we should see stable prices," Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp said. "However, speculators in oil and gasoline markets have kept prices high, and that has filtered down to local gas pumps. The trend for higher gas prices is expected to continue for the next several weeks."

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline as of 12:01 a.m., Feb. 3:

Area Regular Change Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach $2.590 + 8.1 cents $2.999 (9/6/2005)
Orange County $2.547 + 6.8 cents $2.970 (9/6/2005)
San Diego $2.599 + 5.1 cents $3.060 (9/5/2005)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc $2.734 + 7.3 cents $3.111 (9/7/2005)
Riverside–San Bernardino $2.606 + 7.7 cents $3.030 (9/9/2005)
Bakersfield $2.586 + 4.0 cents $3.167 (9/9/2005)
Las Vegas, NV $2.446 + 8.0 cents $2.968 (9/8/2005)

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