Auto Club: Gas Prices Shoot Up Quickly

(LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2009) – The lull is over. Southern California gas prices shot up over the past week, but not because of a sudden surge in demand or drop in supply, 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 $2.454 per gallon, which is 8.8 cents more than last week, 12.5 cents higher than last month, and $1.45 less than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.479, which is 8.9 cents more than last week’s price, 12 cents above last month, and $1.48 lower than last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $2.524, up 4.4 cents from last week, nine cents above last month, and $1.50 below last year. In the Inland Empire, the average per gallon price is $2.45, which is 8.9 cents more than last week, 12 cents more than last month, and $1.48 less than last year.

“Oil industry analysts say this spike is mostly driven by investor anticipation that demand will increase this summer and the fact that China has been purchasing additional crude oil,” said Auto Club spokesperson Jeffrey Spring. “But the analysts are seeing that demand from consumers locally and throughout the U.S. has remained flat, and supply continues to be good, so this could be an unsustainable price surge.”

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline as of 1 p.m. on May 14.


Area

Regular

One-week
change

Record Price

Los Angeles –
Long Beach

$2.454

+8.8 cents

$4.626 (6/21/08)


Orange County

$2.451

+9.4 cents

$4.598 (6/19/08)


San Diego

$2.479

+8.9 cents

$4.630 (6/19/08)


Santa Barbara –
Santa Maria –
Lompoc

$2.524

+4.4 cents

$4.709 (6/21/08)


Riverside –
San Bernardino

$2.450

+8.9 cents

$4.614 (6/22/08)


Bakersfield

$2.524

+7.2 cents

$4.591 (6/24/08)


Ventura

$2.481

+8.6 cents

$4.625 (6/18/08)