The gas price in the region, containing 10 counties including Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino among others with about 24 million residents, had the biggest daily increase Thursday night since July 13, 2015, rising over 12 cents on average.
The Friday's price spike occurred after pump prices in those counties broke records on Thursday. Fuel costs in the region are about 31 cents higher than last week and nearly 42 cents more than a month ago, according to the American Automobile Association (Southern California gas pump).
In Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States, average price rose 13.8 cents to 5.152 U.S. dollars on Friday. A picture posted online showed a station in the Los Angeles City is selling regular unleaded gasoline for 6.71 U.S. dollars a gallon.
The Southern California gas pump's latest data also showed that in California, the average gas price on Friday reached 5.074 U.S. dollars, passing 5 U.S. dollars for the first time and breaking record highs for the state.
Prices in California have long been among the highs in the country, and they have soared in recent years in part because of changes at some West Coast refineries. The state regulators require a boutique, cleaner-burning grade of gasoline and diesel that are not easily blended and few refiners outside the state can make.
State gas taxes and fees also contribute to California's gas price cost.
Oil industry analysts attribute the price spike to the possibility of a supply shortage because traders, shippers, insurance companies and banks are avoiding Russian oil transactions for fear of running afoul of Western sanctions.
According to NBC 7 channel, Russia was the third-largest source of oil products sold in the United States last year, behind only Mexico and Canada, and responsible for 8 percent of all imports. Russia is also the country' second-largest supplier of platinum, a metal used to build exhausts for automobiles. ■
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