The prospect of just one recent summer with decent gas prices was too good to be true.
Fuel price analysts this week warned that a spike in wholesale fuel prices in California is likely to end up putting a dent in your wallet soon.
The AAA of Southern California says that discount gas stations have already started to raise their prices. The latest average low-grade gas price in the L.A. area is $3.545 per gallon, the AAA says.
Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring says wholesale prices for state-mandated summer-blend gas recently skyrocketed, and it's likely drivers will have to absorb at least some of that:
Wednesday’s wholesale price for Los Angeles reformulated gasoline jumped by 40 cents after a report from the Energy Information Administration that inventories have dropped significantly locally.
GasBuddy.com says "a perfect storm" has been conspiring against motorists in California. Citing the same EIA report, it says that California gas inventory declined by 42 million gallons, with state imports falling to "zero."
In a statement, the site details the bad news:
Over the next 24-48 hours we would not be surprised to see average retail prices in Southern California climb by 10 cents or more per gallon, and in Northern California, by 5 cents per gallon or more.
... By next week GasBuddy anticipates prices in Southern California will 15 to 30 cents per gallon or more higher than today.
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In the meantime, there might be some hope. Spring says that if a South Bay refinery taken at least partially out of the game by an explosion earlier this year returns to business as usual, prices could go down again.
"Given continued low oil prices and a possible supply increase in coming weeks, if the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance begins production again, this may be a short-lived spike," he said.