California Gas Prices Hit Record Highs

Over the weekend, the price of gasoline in California hit new record highs. The new highs were reached after a surge in prices at the pumps had been propelled by a downfall in inventories in the area to historic lows.

The average price for one gallon of gasoline in California was $4.614, which edged past the previous high of $4.61 that was set back in 2008, said data released by AAA. However, prices in some areas of the state were over $5 per gallon. On Saturday, one gas station in Los Angeles was selling gas at $5.49 per gallon for regular grade.

Just last week, the average price in the state was at $4.145. The abrupt spike in prices has shocked the car-loving residents of California and has left some gas stations scrambling to find supplies. Signs are starting to appear that indicate the price spike could end, but the roads may not be as full of cars for the near future.

A series of different events have caused the supply to become limited and caused the inventories in gas on the West Coast to fall during the week to their third lowest in over 20 years. In Richmond, California, a fire closed a refinery during late summer.

A pipeline that carries crude from the Central Valley of California to different refineries near San Francisco has not been opened since the middle of September. In addition, two plants were shut down by Phillips 66 for planned maintenance and a power outage struck Exxon Mobil’s refinery in Torrance, a city near Los Angeles.

Officials in California took to the airwaves during the week to assure residents of the state that they were not running out of gas. However, Costco had to close 14 out of its 40 stations in the Los Angeles area until the situation started to improve.