Gas Prices - Photo courtesy of MNLA staff

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose Friday for the fifth time in six days, increasing a half-cent to $4.514.

The average price is 1.1 cents more than one week ago and 6.2 cents higher than one month ago, but 15.9 cents less than one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It has dropped $1.98 since rising to a record $6.494 on Oct. 5.

The Orange County average price rose one-tenth of a cent to $4.439, its fourth increase in five days. It is nine-tenths of a cent more than one week ago and 11.6 cents higher than one month ago, but 21.7 cents less than one year ago.

The Orange County average price has dropped $2.02 since rising to a record $6.459 on Oct. 5.

“We are unfortunately heading toward the time of year when California drivers start to see rapid price increases due to refinery maintenance season and the ramp-up to producing the more expensive `summer blend’ of gasoline, which is required to be sold starting April 1, but usually arrives in gas stations well before that,” said Doug Shupe, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager.

“Hopefully there will be at least a few weeks of price stability before that happens.”

The national average price rose for the ninth consecutive day following a five-day streak of decreases totaling 2.3 cents, increasing 1.3 cents to $3.392. It has risen 12.5 cents over the past nine days, including 2 cents Thursday.

The national average price is 10.7 cents more than one week ago, 26.9 cents higher than one month ago and 7.2 cents greater than one year ago. It has dropped $1.624 since rising to a record $5.016 June 14.

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