Average gas prices in LA, Orange counties see largest increases since 2015

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles and Orange counties on Friday recorded their largest increases since July 14, 2015.

The Los Angeles County average price rose 13.8 cents to $5.152 and the Orange County average price increased 14.5 cents to $5.135, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The Los Angeles County average price has risen 30 times in 33 days, increasing 48.3 cents, including 8.6 cents Thursday, setting records 26 of the past 28 days. It is 30.4 cents more than one week ago, 43.1 cents higher than one month ago and $1.383 greater than one year ago.

The Orange County average price topped $5 for the first time Friday, at $5.135, setting its 25th record in 30 days. It has increased 20 of the past 22 days, rising 41.3 cents, including 8.6 cents Thursday.

The Orange County average price is 30.8 cents more than one week ago, 42.9 cents higher than one month ago and $1.385 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 end of the price spike is "largely dependent on world events and oil prices, as well as California's gasoline supply issues which often tend to occur in the spring months,'' said Marie Montgomery, a public relations specialist with the Automobile Club of Southern California.

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 production, distribution and sales, taxes and carbon offset fees in California paid by the refineries.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude for May delivery on the Intercontinental Exchange dropped $2.47 to $110.46 Thursday, one day after rising to its highest settlement value since June 27, 2014, $112.93. Brent crude is the global oil benchmark, accounting for approximately 80% of the world's crude oil.
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