SoCal Gas Prices Highest Since Oct. ’08; $5 By 2012?

Ninth straight day of price increase

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Pump prices are going up around the Southland, and one analyst says it may be the start of a long upward climb.

The ninth consecutive daily increase pushed the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County on Thursday to its highest amount since Oct. 19, 2008.

The increase of a half-cent boosted the average price to $3.308, which is 3.9 cents more than a week ago, 17.7 cents more than a month ago and 34.5 cents more than this time last year, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

KNX 1070’s Chris Sedens reports.

The average price rose four-tenths of a cent Dec. 22; eight-tenths of a cent on last Thursday; 1 cent on Friday; six-tenths of a cent on Saturday; a half-cent on Sunday; one-tenth of a cent on Monday; a half-cent on Tuesday; and seven-tenths of a cent on Wednesday.

The Orange County average also rose today for the ninth consecutive day, increasing six-tenths of a cent to $3.306 — the highest price since Oct. 17, 2008.

Ex-president of Shell Oil John Hofmeister predicts five-dollars a gallon by 2012.

The Orange County average price is 3.4 cents more than a week ago, 17.7 cents more than a month ago and 34.9 cents more than this time last year.

Analysts attribute the higher prices to increasing crude oil prices.

Crude oil costs account for two-thirds to three-quarters of the price of a gallon of gasoline, according to Tupper Hull, vice president of strategic communications for the Western States Petroleum Association, a trade association representing oil companies in six western states.

Analysts say the higher oil prices are the result of anticipated increased demand because of an improved economy, demonstrated by five consecutive months of increased consumer spending.

The price of a barrel of benchmark crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled at its highest point since Oct. 3, 2008 last Thursday, $91.51 on the final day of pre-Christmas trading. The price ended at $91.12 on Wednesday.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • Robert

    Here is a question for all those analysts….Why are we here in Los Angeles always the ones paying higher gas prices ? Don’t tell me it’s because of the formulation used during winter/summer months cause gas from here goes to other states and they don’t pay the same..also gas will never hit 5 bucks it’s just a scare tactic…if it did the economy would shut down !!! Don’t think the politicians or Obama will let that happen…..right ????

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  • Steve

    Seems unlikely. It’s only $2.67 now.

  • itwill hit5bucks

    Steve, got an extra time machine to spare? The going gouge rates anywhere in the L.A. area is $3.30+ for regular. Sub-$3.00, or anything close to your fanciful pricing hasn’t existed for over a year (approx. mid-2009), and that’s only if you count the national average as being available in CA, certainly not in the Los Angeles area.

    It *will* get to $5, it already did in plenty of places in CA in 2008.

  • Robert S.

    Go ahead and raise gas prices, see what happens to your economey!

  • Robert

    The government collects more tax money from higher gas prices, see if the politicians care!

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