California gas prices could top $4 a gallon before easing again

California gas prices could top $4 a gallon before easing again

California motorists are experiencing a notable increase in gas prices, and the average price of the fuel could top $4 per gallon before easing again, industry analysts said.

While the nationwide gas prices are on the decline, average price of the fuel in Los Angeles jumped 9 cents to $3.66 per gallon last Friday. As per Lundberg's bi-weekly survey, gas prices jumped another 13 cents on Saturday.

Two rival gas stations in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, which normally charge the same price, reported significant differences in gas prices. On Saturday, their prices were 58 cents apart. A gallon of gas cost motorists $3.72 at one station and $4.30 at the other.

Industry analysts attributed the price rise to a shortage of oil and other components that are used in refining unique blend of less-polluting gas in California.

However, industry analyst Trilby Lundberg noted that a slowdown in imported fuel and a refinery shutdown in Torrance also played a part in pushing gas prices up in Los Angeles and other parts of the state.

However, the worst effects of the gas price rise started easing on Sunday as overseas wholesalers moved swiftly to bring their product into the state. Commenting on the situation, Lundberg said, "Exports from outside the state in the U.S. and abroad did not have a great incentive to come in, but now they do."

Nationally, the average price of the fuel slipped 2 cents over the last couple of weeks to $2.83 per gallon, while average national price for midgrade and premium gas was $3.05 and $3.22, respectively.

The cheapest gas price in the continental United States was recorded at $2.42 a gallon in Jackson, Mississippi.

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