As the holiday weekend begins, gasoline prices in Southern California are edging closer to $4 a gallon.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County reached $3.72 this week. The average price is 5.3 cents more than one week ago and 10.1 cents higher than one month ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Riverside and San Bernardino counties is $3.69. In Orange County, the average price is $3.70. The Orange County average price has risen 22 times in the past 26 days, increasing 15.1 cents over that span.
The increases since Wednesday (January 16) are the result of crucial equipment at the BP refinery in Carson being de-activated for unplanned maintenance and the catalytic cracker at the Chevron refinery in El Segundo being shut down as well, cutting supplies, according to industry analyst Bob van der Valk.
Catalytic cracking is a critical step in turning petroleum into gasoline.