The fourth consecutive sharp daily increase pushed the average prices of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles and Orange counties above $4 Monday for the first time since May.
The Los Angeles County average price rose 12.6 cents to $4.053, the highest in the state, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.
The Orange County average price rose 14 cents to $4.019, the third highest in the state behind Los Angeles and San Diego counties. The increase was the largest in a single day since Feb. 27.
The Los Angeles County average price has risen by at least 11.1 cents for four consecutive days and is 50.1 cents above one week ago and 37.8 cents higher than a month ago, but 8.1 cents less than one year ago. The price had dropped 48 of the previous 52 days through Thursday.
The Orange County average price has risen by at least 12 cents for four consecutive days and is 52.3 cents more than one week ago and 41.8 cents higher than a month ago, but 9.7 cents less than one year ago. It had dropped 50 of the previous 54 days through Thursday.
The sharp increases are the result of inadequate supply to meet demand caused by several factors, according to Marie Montgomery of the Automobile Club of Southern California.
She said Southern California refineries didn’t receive any shipments of foreign oil last week as they were outbid by competitors in Mexico and other areas, forcing them to draw down inventories to their lowest levels in a year to make enough fuel to meet demand, which is up from last year.
The ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance remains offline because of an explosion in February. The operator is awaiting approval from the South Coast Air Quality Management District to use a refurbished piece of equipment, Montgomery told City News Service.
The gasoline supply was further reduced because the Tesoro refinery in Carson is at least partly offline for annual maintenance, Montgomery said.
—City News Service