Each of the three highest increases since July 14, 2015, have occurred over the past three days. The average price rose 8.6 cents Thursday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.
The Los Angeles County average price has risen 31 times in 34 days, increasing 57.8 cents, setting records 27 of the past 29 days. It is 38 cents more than one week ago, 51.3 cents higher than one month ago and $1.471 greater than one year ago.
The Orange County average price rose 10.3 cents to $5.238, one after its largest increase since July 14, 2015, 14.5 cents. It has set records on 26 of the past 31 days and increased 21 of the past 23 days, rising 51.6 cents.
The Orange County average price is 39.1 cents more than one week ago, 52.3 cents higher than one month ago and $1.482 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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Pump prices have reached record highs as the price of a barrel of Brent crude for May delivery 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.
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.