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Gas Prices Hit Record Highs

Pain at the pump: A power failure at the Exxon-Mobil Torrance refinery earlier this week has reduced supply.

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County recorded its largest daily increase since at least 2008 on Thursday, rising 8.8 cents to $4.347—its highest amount since May 22.

Westside residents were spending more, about $4.50 per gallon.

The average price has increased by more than 1 cent on each of the past six days and is 20.7 cents more than a week ago, 17.4 cents higher than a month ago and 51.4 cents greater than at this time last year, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

On Thursday, the Costco Wholesale Corp gas station on the Marina del Rey/Culver City border was temporarily shut down due to supply issues, Reuters reported. Costco stores in Northridge and Simi Valley also shut down their gasoline pumps, and independent stations were turning away customers.

As of Thursday night, the least expensive gas in Culver City was $4.33 for regular at The Shell Station at 10646 Venice Blvd. & Overland Ave. according to gasbuddy.com.

Just in the past two days, the average for self-serve regular has risen 14.6 cents in Los Angeles County.

The increases since Monday are the result of a power failure at the ExxonMobil Torrance Refinery which may cause it to flare gases for a week, reducing gasoline supplies, Marie Montgomery Nordhues of the Automobile Club of Southern California told City News Service.

Bob van der Valk, an independent petroleum industry analyst, told KNX radio, “Right now, gas stations are trying to wean out what they have of the 'summer blend.' There is absolutely none available.”

Refineries have already switched over to “winter blend,” which burns cleaner at cooler temperatures, but can't be sold in California because of clean-air rules, until after Halloween. 

— City News Service contributed to this report.

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