(LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16, 2007) – Tight supplies in the California gasoline market have driven prices up by more than a penny a day in Southern California over the past week. It's unclear, however, whether this represents the beginning of what has become an annual springtime price spike at the pump, 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 $2.643, which is 8.4 cents higher than last week, six cents higher than last month, and seven cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.672, which is 9.9 cents above last week's price, five cents above last month, and 10 cents above last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $2.799, up 8.1 cents from last week, half a cent above last month, and 10 cents higher than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average price is $2.646, eight cents above last week, four cents higher than last month, and six cents higher than last year.
"Supplies have tightened in California because of issues such as last week's shutdown of the state's fifth-largest crude oil field after an explosion," said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. "But even without disasters, we've seen a pattern over the last seven years of a spring gas price spike due to increased demand and consistently low inventories at this time of year. The Auto Club recommends that during periods of price increases such as this one, drivers should make extra efforts to conserve gasoline."
The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline as of 12:01 a.m., Feb. 16:
|Area||Regular||One-week change||Record price|
|Los Angeles – Long Beach||$2.643||+8.4 cents||$3.402 (5/13/2006)|
|Orange County||$2.589||+8.3 cents||$3.371 (5/17/2006)|
|San Diego||$2.672||+9.9 cents||$3.438 (5/15/2006)|
|Santa Barbara - Santa Maria - Lompoc||$2.799||+8.1 cents||$3.491 (5/16/2006)|
|Riverside - San Bernardino||$2.646||+8.0 cents||$3.445 (5/15/2006)|
|Bakersfield||$2.666||+11.9 cents||$3.450 (5/16/2006)|
|Las Vegas, NV||$2.430||+2.3 cents||$3.176 (5/17/2006)|