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Oil Prices Begin Stabilizing While Southland Drivers Wait For Relief At The Pump

A lighted Chevron sign lists the price of a regular gallon of gas as $7.29 and Supreme at $7.33.
Gas prices of more than $7.00 per gallon are posted at a downtown Los Angeles gas station on March 9.
(Fredric J. Brown
AFP via Getty Images)
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Gas prices went up 1.3 cents overnight in Los Angeles County after a 4 cent increase yesterday, while Orange County prices have gone up nearly .09 cents since last week.

The latest pain at the pump shows a gallon of regular, unleaded gas is averaging $5.89 in L.A. County and $5.85 in Orange County, a new record high. But that's nothing new. The price average has increased slightly over $1.10 over the span of 23 days.

Auto Club of Southern California spokesperson Doug Shupe says the cost of crude oil has come down a bit and gas prices are holding steady in other parts of the country.

So what's the deal with the $5.88 at the pump? Shupe says local prices could still go up because of a delay in repairs at the Torrance Refinery, which suffered a power outage in early March.

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"The Torrance Refinery issue locally here in Southern California shot Los Angeles wholesale gasoline prices up higher again," he said. "And that's why we are seeing another increase at the pump."

The rise is a relatively small increase compared to what drivers experienced a few weeks ago when gas prices skyrocketed following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which caused crude oil prices to spike.

The average price for a barrel of Brent crude oil is $105.

Severin Borenstein, a professor of business administration and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley and the faculty director of the school's Energy Institute, told LAist that every time the price of crude oil goes up $1 per barrel, the price of gasoline follows at 2.5 cents per gallon.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden called out oil companies, demanding a drop in gasoline prices as oil costs slide.

Still, Shupe hopes the Torrance Refinery can resolve its issues soon.

What questions do you have about Southern California?

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