The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County recorded its second-largest increase since July 14, 2015, Sunday, rising 11.2 cents to $5.327 -- its 17th record high in the last 19 days.
Each of the three highest increases since July 14, 2015, have occurred over the past three days. The average price rose 12.9 cents Friday and 11.1 cents Saturday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.
The average price has risen 31 of the past 34 days, increasing 70.3 cents. It is 48.5 cents more than one week ago, 64.8 cents higher than one month ago and $1.554 greater than one year ago.
Oil industry analysts attribute the price spike to the possibility of a supply shortage because traders, shippers, insurance companies and banks are avoiding Russian oil transactions for fear of running afoul of Western sanctions.
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The price spike "is not exactly surprising -- it is the cost of choking off Russia from energy revenue," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, which provides real-time gas price information from more than 150,000 stations.
Pump prices have reached record highs as the price of a barrel of Brent crude on the Intercontinental Exchange rose Friday to its highest amount since Feb. 13, 2013, $118.11, increasing $7.65. Its 25.49% increase for the week ($23.99) is the largest on record, based on available data back to Jan. 11, 1991.
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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 the production, distribution and sales, taxes and carbon offset fees in California paid by the refineries.
As gas prices continue to rise, here are some tips from AAA to help you save some money at the pump.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. Underinflation reduces fuel economy.
- Slow down and drive the speed limit. On the highway, aerodynamic drag causes fuel economy to drop off significantly as speeds increase above 50 mph.
- Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard acceleration. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
- Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in winter. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
- Minimize your use of air conditioning. Even at highway speeds, open windows have less effect on fuel economy than the engine power required to operate the air conditioning compressor.
- Also, shop around for gas prices, sometimes lower prices are around the corner.