Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose six-tenths of a cent Sunday to $4.120, its highest amount since July 20, 2015.

The average price has increased 55.7 cents over the past 20 days, including a half-cent Saturday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 14.9 cents more than one week ago, 55.6 cents higher than one month ago, and 36.7 cents greater than one year ago.

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.”

— City News Service

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