Gas pump with prices
Gas pump. Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose Tuesday for the fifth time in six days following a 23-day streak of decreases, increasing 1.4 cents to $2.494.

The average price is 2.9 cents more than one week ago but 18 cents less than one month ago and $1.13 lower than one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The Orange County average price rose for the fourth consecutive day after dropping 23 times in 24 days, increasing 1.7 cents to $2.473.

The Orange County average price is 3.5 cents more than one week ago but 17.5 cents less than one month ago and $1.144 lower than one year ago.

The rising pump prices follow a sharp increase in wholesale prices after they dropped to a six-year low.

The wholesale price increase is not unexpected, but a yearly occurrence as investors anticipate a tightening of supply from local refineries, which are performing maintenance on units as they prepare to switch from making the winter fuel blend to the summer blend, according to Jeffrey Spring, the corporate communications manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Air quality requirements mandate the switch for most Southern California gas stations to sell the summer fuel blend by April 1 to reduce air pollution in warmer temperatures.

—Staff and wire reports

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