Gas pump
Gas pump. Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

 The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County dropped for the third consecutive day Saturday following a run of 19 increases in 20 days, decreasing 1.2 cents to $6.348.

The average price set records 18 times in 19 days during the run of increases, including a record high of $6.373 on June 15. It then dropped six- tenths of a cent Thursday and seven-tenths of a cent Friday.

The decreases stem from “a plunge of nearly 60 cents on the Los Angeles wholesale gasoline market this past week” caused by “a very volatile week for the U.S. economy and a slight downturn in consumer demand reported by the EIA, which is likely due to record high prices,” said Doug Shupe, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager, referring to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The average price is 1.3 cents less than one week ago, but 33.1 cents more than one month ago and $2.124 greater than one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

It has risen $1.592 since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 “sent shock waves through the oil market that have kept oil costs elevated,” said Andrew Gross, an AAA national public relations manager.

Crude oil costs account for slightly more than half of the pump price, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The rest of the price includes the other components of gasoline, production costs, distribution costs, overhead costs for all involved in production, distribution and sales, taxes and carbon offset fees in California paid by the refineries.

The national average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline dropped for the fourth consecutive day following an 18-day streak of increases, decreasing 1.1 cents to $4.989. The average price rose 41.5 cents during the 18- day streak, setting a record each day. It dropped two-tenths of a cent Wednesday, a half-cent Thursday and nine-tenths of a cent Friday.

–City News Service