Originally published December 10, 2010 at 12:22 p.m., updated December 10, 2010 at 3:44 p.m.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose today to its highest amount since Oct. 20, 2008, increasing seven-tenths of a cent to $3.257.
SAN DIEGO San Diego's Gas Price hit a two-year high yesterday. The Utility Consumer's Action Network reported the price rose to $3.25 a gallon.
UCAN's Charles Langley said there are unexpected outages at two major California refineries. He said that's causing prices on the spot market to climb and prices at the pump are going up as well.
"Its very financially convenient for these big refineries to shut down capacity a little bit. Scare the heck out of the market and watch their margins rise because of fears of a gasoline shortage," he said.
Langley said the current price spike is also being fueled by high oil prices. The futures market is trading oil at around $88 a barrel. The price has been moving up all fall and there's no clear indication where it will peak.
The average price is 9.2 cents more than a week ago, 12.9 cents higher than a month ago and 33.4 cents above this time last year, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.
The price of oil has increased by about 5 percent in the past 10 days, including topping $90 per barrel on Tuesday for the first time in more than two years. The price of a barrel of benchmark crude dropped just below $88 on Friday.
Crude oil costs account for two-thirds to three-quarters of the price of a gallon of gasoline, according to Tupper Hull, vice president of strategic communications for the Western States Petroleum Association, a trade association representing oil companies in six western states.
City News Service contributed to this story.