Los Angeles gas prices on Thursday hit their highest level of the year as earthquake-related refinery problems continued to keep costs up, according to the Auto Club.
The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded (87) gasoline in the L.A.-Long Beach area is currently $4.41, which is a cent higher than last week and a penny higher than last month, the latest AAA figures show.
San Diego also reached its highest average gas price of 2021 at $4.36, an increase of 2 cents over the previous week.
Motorists across the Southland are now paying roughly a cent or two more per gallon of gas than they did last week.
“Prices are not surging right now, but they are hovering at about 30 cents below their all-time record levels at a time of year that we would usually start to see gas price drops,” Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring said in a news release.
Across the nation, gas prices have not dipped yet as they traditionally do when autumn begins. That’s because of the cost of crude oil, which on Thursday was hovering around $75 bbl, according to AAA.
“Consumers should see the usual autumn relief at the pump,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said. “But factor in that approximately 16% of crude production in the Gulf of Mexico is still shut down because of Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas and the concerns about what higher COVID cases could do to the economy, and this uncertainty is helping to keep oil prices elevated.”
The average gas price nationwide remains unchanged from last week at $3.19 per gallon, but is still on average $ 1 more than this time last year.
Motorists can expect some relief at the pump as gas stations switch from the more expensive summer-blend gasoline to the cheaper winter blend, something that generally happens in September. From the end of the month through November, the cost usually decreases 10 to 30 cents a gallon due to the less expensive blend along with typically lower demand, GasBuddy.com reports.
But while gasoline costs remain high, Spring has a number of tips that can help drivers save when they fill up their tanks.
“The Auto Club recommends drivers smooth out their driving style, combine errands and take advantage of discounts such as the Fuel Rewards Program at Shell for AAA members to save money on gas,” he said.