SoCal gas prices approaching record high

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose eight-tenths of a cent Sunday to $4.665, moving within 4 cents of the all-time high.

The average price has increased seven of the past eight days, rising 7.6 cents, including 1.9 cents Saturday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 7.4 cents higher than one week ago, 21.4 cents more than one month ago and $1.51 higher than one year ago.

The record high in Los Angeles County is $4.705, set Oct. 9, 2012.

The Orange County average price also rose for the seventh time in eight days, increasing three-tenths of a cent to $4.63, 6 cents less than the record high of $4.69 set Oct. 8, 2012. It has increased 8.8 cents over the past eight days, including 2.2 cents Saturday.

The Orange County average price is 8.4 cents more than one week ago, 21.7 cents more than one month ago and $1.51 higher than one year ago.

"Our sources tell us that some Southern California refineries have had to do unplanned maintenance in recent days which usually reduces the level of production," Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California's corporate communications manager, told City News Service.

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The other factor in the recent spikes is the continued high oil price. The price of a barrel of West Texas intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled at $80.79 on Friday, 101.3% more than its 52-week low of $40.13, which was hit on Nov. 13, 2020 because of higher demand following the elimination of coronavirus-related restrictions.

Crude oil costs account for slightly more than half of the pump price, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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