Los Angeles gas prices rose an average of eight cents overnight, pushing the average cost for a gallon of regular unleaded above the $5 mark for the first time ever in the region, AAA reported Thursday.
The average in the L.A.-Long Beach area now stands at $5.01 a gallon, a new record-high and the 25th set in the past 27 days.
Fuel costs in the region are about 19 cents higher than last week and nearly 30 cents more than a month ago, according to the Auto Club.
Other Southern California areas also continue to shatter records, with Orange County and Ventura also about to to top $5 an average for 87 gallon. Pump prices in Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego also broke records Thursday.
California’s statewide average increased by seven cents overnight and stands at $4.94, also the highest average on record for the Golden State.
Drivers are feeling the pinch across the country, however, with the national average climbing to $3.73 following a seven-cent increase since Wednesday.
The one-day spike has been blamed on anxious oil markets as Russia, one of the world’s largest producers of crude oil, continued to escalate attacks in Ukraine a week after the invasion began.
And this latest surge likely won’t even be the ceiling, according to some experts, who predict that fuel costs are unlikely to ease anytime soon — especially as oil prices continue to top out at more than $100 per barrel.
On Thursday, the price of of U.S. benchmark crude oil dipped slightly to $107.67, a 2.6% drop, according to the Associated Press. The international standard, meanwhile, also declined a little more than 2% and closed the day at $110.46.
However, the cost of both remains higher this week by about 17%, the AP reported.
On top of that, Southern California is also experiencing a uniquely regional issue related to local refineries, according to the Auto Club.
“In addition to oil prices spiking due to concerns about Russian oil supply being removed from Western markets, Southern California is experiencing some supply issues that tend to happen during the spring when refineries typically undergo maintenance,” AAA spokesman Doug Shupe explained in a news release.
He added, “The California Energy Commission reported that the state’s gasoline stocks are down by about six percent from last week, which also puts upward pressure on gas prices.”
While the average is $5 in the Los Angeles area on Thursday, some stations were selling 87 gasoline well below that. KTLA found an Arco station in La Cañada Flintridge where unleaded gas was going for about $4.61 per gallon.
But at other stations, the price of gas cost much higher — even above $6 per gallon, in some instances. A Getty Image photograph taken on Wednesday night showed a Chevron station in L.A. selling regular unleaded for $6.71 a gallon.
The Auto Club has some tips for drivers to save money on gas, such as removing heavy items from the trunk, ensuring the vehicle’s tires are properly inflated, keeping to the speed limit, avoiding “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations, and minimizing air condition usage.