The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose four-tenths of a cent Sunday to $4.256 — its 20th consecutive increase, and the highest amount it’s been since July 21, 2015.

The average price is 16.8 cents higher than one week ago, 57.7 cents higher than one month ago and 37.8 cents greater than one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

It has risen 87.3 cents since the start of the year.

The Orange County average price dropped one-tenth of a cent to $4.222. It is 15.4 cents more than one week ago, 56.6 cents higher than one month ago and 39.1 cents greater than one year ago. It has risen 88.1 cents since the start of the year, and is also the highest it’s been since July 21, 2015.

Gas prices began increasing rapidly last month after Saudi Arabia oil production facilities were attacked, and the increases sharpened after three Los Angeles-area refineries slowed or halted production due to maintenance issues and no imported gasoline was available to make up for the shortfall, according to Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager.

Local refineries had already cut back production of summer blend gasoline in anticipation of switching to selling the winter blend beginning Nov. 1, creating even more of a shortage.

“The good news is that Los Angeles wholesale gasoline prices have dropped sharply in the last two days after refiners began selling off gasoline and there are indications that refinery production problems are ending,” Spring said.

“However, drivers are not likely to see much relief at the pump quickly, since retail prices have shot up by over 50 cents and are typically much slower to decline after a sharp increase.”

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