Daily 49er

Gas prices expected to climb high in the next week

Nicca Panggat, Assistant News Editor

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Drivers in the Los Angeles County should expect to see gas prices rise by 10-20 cents per gallon within the next week, according to GasBuddy Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan.

GasBuddy is a data collection site that reports fuel prices for individual states and counties across the country through crowdsourcing and relationships with gas stations.

“I know there’s an actual reason [gas prices inflate so much], but I don’t know it,” sophomore nursing major Edgar Dungo said. “Going up 10 cents a week is ridiculous and drastic.”

GasBuddy snapshots average gas prices at around 3 a.m. every day in order to set a comparison point for the day.

According to their report for Los Angeles, the morning benchmark for Sunday was $3.468 per gallon and increased to $3.482 by 5:20 p.m. for an overall increase of 27 cents from last week’s average.

Nationally, prices have risen by almost eight cents per gallon in the last week, according to GasBuddy.

“How often we change the signs depends on the price notifications,” Miguel Martinez, a cashier at the Chevron on Seventh Street, said. “I’ve changed the signs twice in the past week, ten cents on Wednesday and ten cents on Friday.”

The increased gas prices can be traced back to problems with different California oil refineries, DeHaan said.

The most recent issue was with “visible flaring” at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, CA following the unexpected shutdown of one of its units on Wednesday.

Production at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance is also still at a halt following the equipment failure that led to an explosion and four injured people in mid-February.

According to the Chevron Richmond Twitter account, flaring is a part of refinery operations and allows for equipment de-pressuring.

These problems still bring about concerns of supply tightness and have the potential to send wholesale gasoline prices soaring, DeHaan said. LA motorists should expect to pay about $3.60 within the next few weeks, he said.

“[Paying] $3.60 per gallon adds up to a lot of money,” Dungo said. “$2.86 a gallon was perfect. If we’re paying that much, we should just have solar powered cars at this point.”

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