The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Orange County rose Friday for the 20th consecutive day and 34th time in 36 days, increasing three-tenths of a cent to $4.097, its highest amount since June 9.
The increase in Orange County is 9.7 cents more than one week ago, 39.4 cents higher than one month ago and 40.3 cents greater than one year ago. The average price has increased a whopping 45.4 cents over the past 36 days, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.
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Gasoline prices have increased sharply following a fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond Aug. 6. Wholesale gas prices began rising the following day, reflecting fears of reduced supplies.
“With the refinery still partially open, it appears that wholesale gasoline buyers feel that for now, they have captured most of the cost increase that will result from the fire," said Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Analysts attributed the increases before the refinery fire to rising crude oil prices, which in part reflected increasing Middle East tensions.
In Los Angeles County, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline remained at $4.115 Friday following 20 consecutive days of increases. The average price had risen 34 of the previous 35 days, increasing 42.3 cents over that span to its highest amount since June 11.
The average price is 10.2 cents more than one week ago, 37.6 cents higher than one month ago and 40.5 cents greater than one year ago.
"Crude oil costs account for two-thirds to three-quarters of the price of a gallon of gasoline," said Tupper Hull of the Western States Petroleum Association, a trade association representing oil companies in six western states.