Get ready for more pain at the pump.
The average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Orange County rose 6.5 cents in a single day, to $3.90. That's 18.1 cents more than a week ago, 30.3 cents higher than a month ago and 11.3 cents greater than one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.
OC gas prices, which have risen 34 times in the past 39 days, are the third highest in the state behind Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo County.
"The usual culprits are being listed as reasons for the spike -- high oil prices, Middle East tension, local refinery incidents and refineries being brought down for maintenance as they prepare to produce the summer blend of gasoline," said Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California.
"But perhaps equally if not more importantly, say oil industry analysts, financial market managers see refined gasoline as a 'sure bet' for their clients' portfolios. Big investment money is flowing earlier and earlier into gasoline trading, ahead of the usual 'spring spike.'
"Southern California is a particularly vulnerable market for shortages because it has no inexpensive alternatives if local refinery production is down, and traders are aware of this."
-- City News Service