California gas prices tie all-time high set in June 2008


Prices are expected to increase even more over the next few days before leveling off within about a week, but Southland drivers don't know how much more they can take.

A Mobil station in Studio City broke the $5 mark, selling a gallon of regular unleaded for $5.09 and $5.29 for premium.

In Los Angeles County, the cost of a gallon of gas jumped 12 cents overnight. The average price is now $4.66 a gallon. On Friday it was $4.54.

Similar jumps were seen throughout Southern California. In Orange County, the average is now $4.65, up 13 cents. In the Inland Empire, it's now $4.62, up 14 cents. Ventura County residents are paying $4.65 on average for a gallon of regular unleaded, up 12 cents.

All of these prices are up 49 to 51 cents from last week.

Many motorists can't understand how prices can fluctuate so drastically from day to day. Experts are blaming it on a series of problems in California refineries coupled with an already-low supply.

The good news is Exxon Mobil's refinery in Torrance has returned to normal operations after a power failure on Monday disrupted production for most of the week.

Many gas stations ran out of fuel and shut down, not wanting to take the risk of buying gas at soaring prices. But many SoCal motorists did not have that option and had no choice but to fill up at a high cost.

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