The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County again rose to a record high Monday, but the increase of 1.3 cents to $4.725 may indicate that prices will soon fall.
The increase was the smallest during a six-day span that has seen the price rise 54.7 cents, including 3.8 cents on Sunday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.
The average price has set records for three consecutive days and is 56.3 cents more than one week ago, 56.6 cents higher than one month ago and 92.7 cents greater than one year ago.
Gov. Jerry Brown's order Sunday directing the California Air Resources Board to immediately allow oil refineries to make an early transition to winter- blend gasoline, which isn't typically sold until Nov. 1, and the resumption of operations at ExxonMobil's Torrance refinery are expected to add to the supply of gasoline.
The record prices are the result of whole markets going "into a panic about the adequacy of California fuel supplies" following a power failure at the Torrance refinery and closure of a Chevron pipeline that moves crude oil to Northern California, said Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Prior to the incidents last Monday, local refiners dropped production levels, exported supply to Mexico and other countries and allowed inventory to dwindle in anticipation of switching over to production of winter blend gasoline, Spring said.
-City News Service