gas prices

30th Straight Day of Increases: San Diego's Rising Gas Prices Near $6/Gal

The average price has risen $1.237 during the streak

A person lifts a gas pump in this undated image.

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose Thursday for the 30th consecutive day, increasing 1.3 cents to a record $5.981.

The average price has risen $1.237 during the streak, including 2.2 cents Wednesday, setting a record each day, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 16.1 cents more than one week ago, $1.198 higher than one month ago and $2.054 greater than one year ago.

Gas prices across the country have surged in recent weeks, with San Francisco recently becoming the first U.S. city where gas costs over $5 a gallon on average. NBCLX storyteller Cody Broadway breaks down why prices are higher in California and whether drivers will have relief at the pump anytime soon.

"Southern California gas prices are continuing to move higher due to refinery issues we have been experiencing recently," Doug Shupe, the Automobile Club of Southern California's corporate communications manager, told City News Service.

"PBF Energy refineries in Torrance and Martinez and a Valero refinery outside of San Francisco have experienced unexpected problems in recent weeks that caused a reduction in gasoline production and therefore more increases at the gas pumps."

The Torrance Refinery has been having issues restarting a key unit that went offline after a March 6 power outage, and there's "no word yet on when things will return to full operation," Shupe said.

NBC 7's Sergio Flores spoke to a lawmaker and an oil industry representative about surging gas prices.

There was no response to an email sent to the Torrance Refinery asking when it will return to full operation.

The Torrance Refinery is capable of producing 1.8 billion gallons of gasoline per year, nearly 10% of the state's demand, a refinery official said.

While the San Diego County average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline rose 16.1 cents over the past week, the national average dropped 5.3 cents, primarily because of the lower global price of crude oil, according to Andrew Gross, an AAA national public relations manager.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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