SLO County's gas prices are highest in California

kleslie@thetribunenews.comSeptember 10, 2013 

Norberto Beltran fills up his vehicle with gas at Conserv Fuel in San Luis Obispo in February 2013.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

San Luis Obispo County once again had the highest gas prices in California this week and was the only metro area in California to average more than $4 per gallon, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in the county on Tuesday was $4.009, roughly three cents higher than the next highest average of $3.979 in San Francisco.

The Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Los Angeles-Long Beach and Ventura metro areas made up the rest of the top five highest averages, all with gas prices of more than $3.92 per gallon.

The San Luis Obispo average was up less than a cent from Monday ($4.005) and is roughly seven cents higher than the average from a week ago. It was down from $4.039 a month ago, and is considerably less than the same time a year ago when gas prices on average were $4.25 a gallon.

San Luis Obispo gas prices hit their highest recorded point in October 2012, when the average cost hit $4.75 per gallon, according to the report.

California's average price was $3.907, with only Alaska ($4.008) and Hawaii ($4.331) recording higher. Nationwide, the average price of gas was $3.564, according to the report.

According to a news release by oil analyst Gasbuddy.com, gas prices in California will most likely continue to rise until the average is somewhere over $4, though it is unlikely they will increase to 2012’s record levels.

The increase is attributed to higher crude oil costs and refinery problems with Phillips 66, Shell, Valero and Tesoro refineries, all of which had to undergo maintenance, according to the release.

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