LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Don’t say you weren’t warned.
KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports drivers throughout the Southland are doing double-takes at the gas pump on Thursday after an oil refinery fire sent prices soaring.
Just overnight, the average price of regular gas jumped 6 cents per gallon in the greater Los Angeles area to an average of $3.95 — marking the 27th such increase in 28 days.
An informal survey of over a dozen stations from mid-Wilshire to Hollywood found only four offering gas below $4.00 per gallon.
Analysts attributed the surge to concerns that Monday’s shutdown of a Chevron refinery in Richmond — which processes 15 percent of crude oil statewide — could lead to gas shortages.
Energy analyst Phil Flynn said gas stations are grappling with the sudden instability in supply and demand.
“They have a contract to buy gasoline from that refinery and that refinery goes down; they better scramble to get what supplies they can to meet their contractual needs,” said Flynn.
One driver moving his furniture was seen wincing as he filled up his tank at a station in Hollywood.
“I’m on my way to San Francisco, and I’m not making no money,” he said.
Analysts are warning drivers of even more price hikes in the days ahead amid uncertainty as to when the Richmond refinery will be back online.