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Fuel up! California refiners will soon be switching to pricey 'gluten free' gas blend

A customer pumps gasoline into his car at an Arco gas station on March 3, 2015 in Mill Valley, California. U.S.
A customer pumps gasoline into his car at an Arco gas station on March 3, 2015 in Mill Valley, California. U.S.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Gas prices are still decreasing in SoCal. But unfortunately, that won't last long.

In L.A. County, the average price for a gallon of regular self-serve gas is $2.70. That's about the lowest price in nearly a year. The same holds true in Orange County and the Inland Empire.

"You're probably seeing about the best prices you're going to see for the first half of the year and perhaps all of the year," said Tom Kloza, oil industry expert with Oil Price Information.

Kloza says refineries will begin shutting down units for maintenance soon. It's also the time of year that refiners start producing the more expensive summer blend.

"Really what happens is the blend that refiners need to make will change into a more difficult — almost like a 'gluten-free' gasoline," he said, "and that's happening in Southern California where it's starting to be shipped on the pipeline."

California law requires refineries to produce this cleaner gasoline. It offsets pollution from increased gas fumes that come with hotter weather. Every year, it hits the market April 1.

You can expect to see an increase in prices between Super Bowl and Easter Sunday, he said. But they won't be as high as last year. Gas prices likely won't spike above $4.