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San Diego Gas Price Dips Slightly

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County fell today for the first time since July 29, dropping three-tenths of a cent to $4.103.

A 19-day streak of increases that began on July 31 ended Sunday when the average price was unchanged, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. The price was also unchanged on July 30.

Today's three-tenths of a cent decrease was the largest since July 12.

The stretch of rising prices was initially triggered by increasing crude oil prices, which were partly the result of increasing Middle East tensions. A latter cause of the rising prices was the Aug. 6 fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, which prompted an immediate increase in wholesale gasoline prices, reflecting fears of reduced supplies.

The upward price pressure appears to be easing as fuels shortages never materialized.

"Will we see huge wonderful drops that went down as fast as they sky-rocketed up. I don't think that's going to happen, because the California market doesn't work that way. Although it would be a delightful surprise if it did," said Charles Langley of the Utility Consumer's Action Network.

The average price rose 29.6 cents during the streak of increases. It is 2.4 cents more than one week ago, 34.8 cents higher than one month ago and 38.4 cents greater than one year ago.

Erik Anderson contributed to this story.

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