LA County gas prices rise to highest level since 2015

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose Friday for the 10th time in 11 days, increasing 1.1 cents to $4.285, its highest amount since July 17, 2015.

The average price has risen 3.9 cents over the past 11 days, including a half-cent on Thursday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 3.3 cents more than one week ago, 9.6 cents higher than one month ago and $1.213 greater than one year ago.

The average price has risen $1.053 since the start of the year, mainly because of a run of 59 increases in 60 days totaling 57.9 cents that ended March 21. The increases were driven by "higher oil prices and higher demand," said Marie Montgomery, a public relations specialist with the Automobile Club of Southern California.

The Orange County average price rose a half-cent to $4.239, its highest amount since July 20, 2015. It is 3.7 cents more than one week ago, 9.4 cents higher than one month ago and $1.182 greater than one year ago.

The Orange County average price has risen $1.031 since the start of the year, mainly because of a run of 72 increases in 73 days totaling 68.1 cents that ended March 20.

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The large price increases from one year ago are the result of significant decreases during the early stage of the coronavirus pandemic, when driving and demand dropped substantially because of stay-at-home orders intended to reduce the spread of the virus.

"This past week, two local refineries reported flaring issues which usually translates into production issues," said Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California's corporate communications manager.

"We'll see in the next few days how this might affect retail prices."
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