Gas pump with prices
Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

The fourth consecutive sharp daily increase pushed the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County above $4 Monday for the first time in nearly a year.

The 13.4-cent jump — to $4.036 — marks the first time the price of a gallon of gas has surpassed $4 since July 24, 2014, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The average price rose 15.2 cents on Sunday, 16.7 cents on Saturday and 8.4 cents on Friday and is 53.3 cents more than one week ago and 40.6 cents higher than a month ago. However, it is 6.8 cents less than one year ago.

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.

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, Montgomery said.

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