California Gas Prices Creep Up

California State Gas Prices at $3.64 - Says AAA

Media Contact: Cynthia Harris

Emeryville, CA, March 3, 2014

After enjoying substantial price decreases, California motorists are starting to see a slight upward movement at the gas pumps. State gas prices are now $0.05 more than a month ago, according to the AAA Northern California monthly gas survey.

Northern California’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.64, that’s $0.05 higher since last month’s AAA report on December 10, 2013. For perspective, gas prices today are $0.02 more than California’s average price on this date last year.

“Although California state prices are up by $0.05 from a month ago, motorists today are paying $0.03 less than a week ago,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokesperson. “Typically in January there is a weak demand for gasoline, and because of the fact that supplies of crude are ample, we will probably not see any major spike in prices at the present time.”

The national average price is $3.31. This is same as yesterday and a week ago but $0.05 higher than last month’s report on December 10, and $0.01 higher than a year ago. The national average price has stayed within a tight range this past month. After reaching a more than two-month high of $3.33 on January 3, the national average price dropped for nine of eleven days. Although the price fell, the decrease was less than $0.02 during this time. Midwestern states, bearing the brunt of extreme winter storms, have seen dramatic increases in their average prices this past week with some increases over $0.20 per gallon.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled above the $100 per barrel mark one day, December 27, ending a streak of nine consecutive weeks below the three digit threshold. WTI prices have dropped back toward the $90 per barrel threshold. The sharp decline in prices has been attributed to a stronger U.S. dollar, the return of Libyan crude to the global market, further easing of geopolitical tensions with Iran, and continued concerns surrounding weak domestic demand for gasoline. The decline continued yesterday as WTI prices settled $0.92 lower at $91.80 per barrel at the close of formal trading of the NYMEX. This mark is just $0.14 higher than the settlement recorded last Thursday, which was the lowest price since May 1.

The least expensive average price in Northern California can be found in Marysville where regular unleaded gasoline is $3.49 per gallon. Of all the metro areas in Northern California, where gas prices are tracked by AAA, Eureka has the highest average price at $3.78. Hawaii reports the highest average price in the country, $4.02, and is the only state with an average price over $4.00. Connecticut has the highest price, $3.69, in the contiguous states. Missouri and Montana have the lowest average price, $3.02. No states report an average price under the $3.00 mark.

To get the best mileage possible, AAA recommends keeping tires at the proper pressure suggested by the vehicle manufacturer, performing routine maintenance and making sure fluids are clean and belts and hoses are in good repair. The way you drive can also impact fuel economy. Smooth driving to avoid sudden stops and starts, combining trips and lightening your load also helps conserve gasoline.

AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report is the most comprehensive retail gasoline survey available, with over 100,000 self-serve stations surveyed every day, nationwide. Data is provided in cooperation with OPIS Energy Group and Wright Express, LLC.

AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to over 4.1 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.

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