By STEVEN HERBERT
LOS ANGELES – The average prices of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County and Orange County Thursday recorded their largest daily increases since the record hikes of Oct. 5, 2012.
The Los Angeles County average price rose 15.3 cents to $6.261, its highest amount since July 6, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It has risen for 27 consecutive days, increasing $1.015, including 14.9 cents Wednesday. It is 67.4 cents more than one week ago, 98.2 cents higher than one month ago, and $1.852 greater than one year ago.
The current streak of increases follows a run of 78 decreases in 80 days totaling $1.216. The average price is 20.1 cents less than the record high of $6.462 set June 14.
The Orange County average price rose 15.9 cents to $6.251, its highest amount since June 28. It has risen 12 of the past 13 days, increasing 86.7 cents, including 15.5 cents Wednesday and 14 cents Sunday. It is 68.5 cents more than one week ago, $1.063 more than one month ago, and $1.886 higher than one year ago.
The Orange County average price is 15.9 cents less than the record of $6.41 set on June 12.
“A string of planned and unplanned refinery maintenance issues has severely tightened fuel supply in California,” said Doug Shupe, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager. “West Coast fuel inventories are at the lowest level in about a decade according to Energy Information Administration.
“Until the refineries are fully operational again, supply is going to be tight and will cause pump prices to be volatile.”
There may be “some relief” in November when stations are again allowed to sell winter-blend gas which is cheaper to produce, Shupe told City News Service.
The national average price rose for the ninth consecutive day following a 98-day streak of decreases totaling $1.342, increasing 1.7 cents to $3.782. It has risen 10.8 cents over the past nine days, including 1.8 cents Wednesday.
The national average price is 9.8 cents more than one week ago and 59.4 cents higher than one year ago but 6.8 cents less than one month ago.
The national average price is $1.234 less than the record $5.016 set June 14.