State gas price stable as U.S. cost goes up

Published: Tuesday, May. 21, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5B
Last Modified: Tuesday, May. 21, 2013 - 7:56 am

In a rare reversal of a long-standing trend, gas prices in the Sacramento area and throughout California remained stable last week while the rest of the nation saw a significant increase.

The average retail price of gasoline in the area rose about a penny over the past week to $3.97 a gallon, according to national price tracker, which surveys 720 stations in the area.

Statewide, GasBuddy said Monday's average was $4.04, also up a penny from last week's $4.03.

Sacramento prices are now 27.5 cents lower than they were a year ago but 15.7 cents higher than a month ago.

Nationally, the average price of gas rose nearly 9 cents to an average of $3.67 a gallon – up 16.6 cents from last month and 3 cents below a year ago.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said "the last seven days have delivered some shocks at the pump for motorists in the nation's Midwest. I don't believe I've ever seen gasoline prices in the Midwest surpass California. Areas of Nebraska, Minnesota, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota and Kansas have done that.

"Gas price records in these areas aren't being quietly replaced; they're being blown out of the water."

Energy analysts pointed to outages at key refineries serving the Midwest region. A corresponding drop in the supply of motor vehicle gasoline set off the price spikes.

Call The Bee's Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.

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