Fuel Gas

By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 02/14/14, 8:27 PM PST | Updated: 18 secs ago

Southland gas prices posted double-digit gains over the past week as refineries worked to convert their stock to California’s more costly summer blend.

And one industry analyst figures prices will keep climbing.

“When the refineries do their turnaround that immediately lowers the supply by 10 percent,” said Bob van der Valk, who tracks gas and oil prices in California. “They have to get rid of all their winter blend, so they have to empty their tanks and refill them with the summer blend. We’ll be seeing $4 a gallon by Easter.”

Los Angeles County’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded was $3.76 Friday, up 11 cents from a week ago but down 44 cents from a year earlier, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The Inland Empire saw a similar gain. The average price there rose 12 cents from a week ago to $3.74 a gallon on Friday. That was down 43 cents from a year earlier.

“At current wholesale price levels, pump prices still have some momentum to increase by 15 to 20 cents,” said Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the Automobile Club of Southern California. “But wholesale prices are even more volatile than retail, so that momentum could disappear or increase further.”

Another 15 to 20 cents per gallon wouldn’t exactly be welcomed by Southland motorists and businesses — especially businesses that have to make a lot of deliveries.

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