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Gas prices rise another 9 cents per gallon

Analyst: Some stations in L.A. area charging over $5 a gallon

Posted: October 4, 2012 6:05 p.m.
Updated: October 4, 2012 6:05 p.m.
 

Gas prices continued to spiral in California on Thursday, topping the $5-a-gallon level in some areas.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, prices for regular unleaded gas reached $4.69 a gallon at the Shell station at Bouquet and Seco canyon roads and $4.59 a gallon in Castaic at a Mobil station at The Old Road and Sloan Canyon Road by 6 p.m. Thursday, according to reports on GasBuddy.com.

The lowest prices were $4.29 a gallon at Sam’s Club, Costo and the Arco station on Sand Canyon Road.

From Wednesday to Thursday, the average price of regular unleaded rose 9 cents a gallon, bringing the week-long hike in pump prices to 18 cents, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

GasBuddy.com, which relies on users to update prices, shows an even more drastic increase of almost 30 cents a gallon since the beginning of the month Monday.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com, said he is seeing the highest prices in the state around Los Angeles, where at least five stations have crossed the $5 a gallon mark, including $5.29 in Burbank and $5.11 in Norwalk.

The highest average price ever for regular gasoline in the state was $4.61 in 2008.

Elsewhere, the national average for gas is $3.78 a gallon, the highest ever for this time of year. However, gas prices in many states have started moving lower, which is typical for October.

The increases in California are being fueled by a continued statewide shortage of refined gasoline ­— the result of several refinery and pipeline interruptions since August and a dwindling supply of summer-grade gasoline.

The state is in the process of switching over from its summer mix of gasoline, which is formulated to burn cleaner at higher temperatures, to the winter mix. However, the switch means that many refineries do not have enough stock on hand to offset refinery production loss, according to Marie Montgomery, a spokeswoman for the Automobile Club of Southern California.

The shortage has already begun to shutter some stations statewide, particularly those that offer low-cost gasoline. Several Southern California Costco gas stations, including locations in Simi Valley, Northridge, Azusa and Alhambra, have run out of regular-grade fuel in the past day.

Jeff Cole, Costco’s vice president of gasoline, told Bloomberg News that the company could not find enough unbranded, regular-grade gasoline to keep its pumps flowing.

Representatives from the local Costco stpre on Via Princessa and the Sam’s Club on Carl Boyer Drive said they do not anticipate fuel shortages at their locations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

lmoney@the-signal.com
661-287-5525

 

 

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