The average price of regular self-serve gasoline in San Diego County reached a sobering high of $6.311 after 13 days of consecutive increases. 

The average price has risen 29.3 cents over the past 13 days, including 3.3 cents Tuesday, according to figures from the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. It is 19.7 cents higher than one week ago, 47.4 cents more than one month ago and $2.096 greater than one year ago.

According to the American Automotive Association, these sharp increases come as domestic gasoline demand rose last week in the wake of a robust Memorial Day weekend of travel. 

“People are still fueling up, despite these high prices,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “At some point, drivers may change their daily driving habits or lifestyle due to these high prices, but we are not there yet.” 

The national average price rose 3.6 cents to $4.955, its 12th consecutive record and 16th in 17 days. It has increased 36.2 cents over the past 17 days, including 5.4 cents Tuesday.

According to Gross, the average price has risen $1.555 since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 “sent shock waves through the oil market that have kept oil costs elevated”. 

Crude oil costs account for slightly more than half of the pump price, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Other factors complete the pump prices, such as production costs, distribution costs, sales taxes, and carbon offset fees in California paid by refineries. 

“After a blistering week of gas prices jumping in nearly every town, city, state, and area possible, more bad news is on the horizon. It now appears not if, but when, we'll hit that psychologically critical $5 national average,'' said Patrick 
De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, provides real-time gas price information from more than 150,000 stations.

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 700,000 bbl to 219 million bbl last week. Meanwhile, gasoline demand grew from 8.8 million b/d to 8.98 million b/d as drivers fueled up for Memorial Day weekend travel.

“Gasoline inventories continue to decline even with demand softening due to high prices, a culmination of less refining capacity than we had prior to COVID, and strong consumption, a situation that doesn't look to improve drastically anytime soon," De Haan said. 

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