Explaining Southern California's economy

Los Angeles gas price watch: $5 a gallon?

ARCO-397-MDB

Matt DeBord/KPCC

DeBord Report always hits this station for affordable gas. It's currently about 12 cents below the L.A. average, but climbing.

The cheapest price for a gallon of regular gas in L.A. is now $3.85, according to GasBuddy.com. As you might expect, the reliably inexpensive Costco is second-cheapest, at $3.87.

The average price in L.A. is still north of $4 a gallon — $4.09 in fact — and moving up very slightly, in the aftermath of the Chevron Richmond refinery fire that took out 15 percent of fuel production in California. Prices have surged in the past week.

But what about $5 a gallon? There can be a big difference in the L.A. area between the cheapest price, the average, and what stations in certain areas are charging. 

For example, a Shell station in downtown L.A. [Actually, it's not in downtown L.A. — I was confusing it with a station that is and where I've bought some pricey gas on a few occasions] always seem to be selling gas that's much more expensive than the average (it's currently $4.93). But the real envelope-pusher is a Mobil station in West Covina, with a gallon of regular currently retailing for just one penny less than $5.

That's almost sure to crack the $5 barrier in the coming days. 

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