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Gas prices shot up to more than $6 per gallon in several Southern California counties on Tuesday for the first time in nearly a year, according to data from auto club AAA.
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the Los Angeles metro area was $6.03 on Tuesday, and climbed to $6.07 on Wednesday, according to AAA.
On Wednesday, prices were over $6 per gallon in Los Angeles, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Orange, San Diego, Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties. The highest average price was found in Alpine County, at $6.99 per gallon.
Statewide, the average price was $5.79 on Wednesday, up from $5.48 a week ago and $5.25 a month ago.
The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline on Wednesday was $3.88, up slightly from $3.84 a week ago and $3.87 a month ago.
The spike is unusual at the end of the summer driving season, when demand drops significantly. Much of the increase has been attributed to rising oil prices, which passed $90 per barrel last week.
The price for West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, was down slightly to $90.26 per barrel at 12 p.m. ET Wednesday. The price for Brent crude oil was $93.95 per barrel.
“Oil costs are putting upward pressure on pump prices, but the rise is tempered by much lower demand,” said AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross. “The slide in people fueling up is typical, with schools back in session, the days getting shorter, and the weather less pleasant. But the usual decline in pump prices is being stymied for now by these high oil costs.”
Oil prices have rallied on concerns that supply could remain tight in the months ahead, after Saudi Arabia and Russia announced OPEC+ production cuts will be extended through the end of the year.
TMX contributed to this article.