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Gas Prices Hit Record Highs

Pain at the pump: A Marina del Rey station was shut down on Thursday and a power failure at the Exxon-Mobil Torrance refinery earlier this week has reduced supply.

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County recorded its largest daily increase since at least 2008 on Thursday, rising 8.8 cents to $4.347—its highest amount since May 22.

Westside residents were spending more, about $4.50 per gallon.

The average price has increased by more than 1 cent on each of the past six days and is 20.7 cents more than a week ago, 17.4 cents higher than a month ago and 51.4 cents greater than at this time last year, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

In Marina del Rey on Thursday, the Costco Wholesale Corp gas station was temporarily shut down due to supply issues, Reuters reported. Costco stores in Northridge and Simi Valley also shut down their gasoline pumps, and independent stations were turning away customers.

As of Thursday, the least expensive gas in Marina del Rey was $4.65 for regular at United Oil, located at 811 Washington Blvd., according to gasbuddy.com.

Mapquest showed the cheapest gas in Santa Monica being sold for $4.16 per gallon at World Oil No. 16 at 1801 Lincoln Blvd., but a cashier who answered the phone said the price had gone up to $4.49.

Santa Monica Patch Facebook follower Dee Green reported spending $4.65 per gallon for mid-grade at the Arco on Pico and Fourth Street. "$65 for my 14 gallon tank," she posted.

Just in the past two days, the average for self-serve regular has risen 14.6 cents in Los Angeles County.

The increases since Monday are the result of a power failure at the ExxonMobil Torrance Refinery which may cause it to flare gases for a week, reducing gasoline supplies, Marie Montgomery Nordhues of the Automobile Club of Southern California told City News Service.

Bob van der Valk, an independent petroleum industry analyst, told KNX radio, “Right now, gas stations are trying to wean out what they have of the 'summer blend.' There is absolutely none available.”

Refineries have already switched over to “winter blend,” which burns cleaner at cooler temperatures, but can't be sold in California because of clean-air rules until after Halloween. 

— City News Service contributed to this report.


Ben Adam October 05, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Can we all pitch in for the poor oil companies? Maybe a bail out? C'mon, folks..
Rob October 06, 2012 at 07:44 PM
OMG! This sucks. I just spent $100 to fill up - WTF is going on????
martin, bob October 07, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Blame Obama energy policies. You voted for him, now you pay.

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