The average retail price of gasoline statewide has climbed above the $3-a-gallon threshold for the first time since Dec. 6, according to national gas price tracker GasBuddy.com.
GasBuddy said the average surpassed $3 Tuesday night and settled in Wednesday at $3.03 a gallon. That’s an increase of 22 cents in one week and a 58-cent spike over 30 days.
Analysts said prices are being pushed higher by rising crude oil costs, in-state refineries switching over to pricier spring/summer gas blends, the United Steelworkers union strike idling workers at Tesoro’s California facilities in Carson and Martinez and last week’s explosion at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance.
Allison Mac, a Los Angeles-based petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, called last week’s shutdown of the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance “perhaps the most egregious issue so far this year.” That refinery has a production capacity of 155,800 barrels per day.
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Los Angeles-area motorists have been profoundly affected by the Torrance problems. The average retail price in Los Angeles on Wednesday was $3.09 a gallon, up 30 cents in one week.
By comparison, Wednesday’s average in the Sacramento area was $2.84 a gallon, up 15 cents from last week. The current local average is still well below the year-ago price of $3.57 a gallon.
Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.