Gas prices surge in California

LOS ANGELES
November 10, 2017 4:38am
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•  Prices up 20-25 cents In two weeks

•  “Gas prices are at their highest point in more than two years"


An unexpected surge in gasoline demand, higher oil prices, refinery maintenance and a 12-cent tax hike combined to create an unpleasant jump at the pump for Californians, according to price surveys Friday.

“California gas prices are at their highest point in more than two years after the tax hike and an unusual fall surge in gasoline demand that lowered fuel inventories at the same time as refineries began performing delayed maintenance, reducing production,” says Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the Automobile Club of Southern California. “It appears, however, that wholesale prices have dropped from their peak on Friday and we are already starting to see fewer increases at local gas stations.”

Refinery utilization increased by 1.5% compared to. last week’s numbers to 89.6%. Gasoline production decreased to 10.2 million barrels per day while distillate fuel production increased to 5.2 million barrels per day last week, according to an analysis of Energy Information Administration data by Patrick Dehaan, head of petroleum analysis for the price comparison website GasBuddy.com.

West Coast refinery utilization clicked top by 4.6 percent to 86,2 percent, he says.

“It’s important to note these percentages, because the lower the utilization percent, the lower output — which has a direct impact on local gasoline prices. If refiners in your region have low output, you’re more likely to see gas prices rise,” Mr. Dehaan says.

The national average price for a gallon of gas on November 10 is $2.561, an increase of 4.4 cents since last Friday. California’s average price is currently $3.236, up 8.7 cents from seven days ago, AAA says.

Today’s Regional Prices

Following are the Central Valley average prices for Friday, November 10, driving from south to north, as reported by the American Automobile Association, with last week’s (November 3) averages in parentheses and [October 27] prices in brackets:

• Bakersfield, $3.195 ($3.134) [$3.026]

• Visalia-Porterville, $3.191 ($3.126) [$3.050]

• Fresno, $3.202 ($3.148) [$3.060]

• Merced, $3.141 ($3.065) [$2.988]

• Modesto, $3.014 ($2.910) [$2.806]

• Stockton-Lodi, $3.080 ($3.012) [$2.905]

• Sacramento, $3.099 ($3.019) [$2.903]

• Yolo, $3.053 ($2.954) [$2.832]

• Yuba City, $2.991 ($2.933) [$2.854]

• Chico, $3.030 ($2.962) [$2.849]

The market average price for self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area on November 10 is $3.305, up 10.8 cents since last Friday. In San Diego, the average price is $3.280, up 10.5 cents over the past seven days, the AAA says.

California’s highest average price on November 10 is in San Luis Obispo, where it’s $3.373. That’s up seven cents in one week, one of the smaller increases in the state, according to AAA’s data.

Yuba City can boast to having California’s only average price under the $3 mark on November 10, although at $2.991, it’s only whiff of fumes lower.

California’s lowest reported price for a gallon of gas on November 10 is $2.699, found at an independent in Stockton by a volunteer price spotter for GasBuddy.com. That’s 21 cents higher than the lowest price found in California a week ago.

What might be the nation’s lowest price for a gallon of gas is $1.989, found at an independent in San Antonio, Texas. That’s a nickel higher than last week’s apparent lowest price, also noted in Texas, according to GasBuddy.

Methodologies

GasBuddy bases its figures on reports from volunteer “price spotters” reporting specific locations in the U.S. and Canada. They are not independently confirmed.

The AAA’s prices are market averages for self-serve regular grade (87 octane) gasoline. They are calculated daily from credit card purchases and compiled by the Oil Price Information Service and Wex Inc., formerly known as Wright Express.

Not every station is surveyed and not every market is included in either report. Both price surveys note that there can be wide variations within any market.


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