Gas is now $1.19 more in Chula Vista than it was a year ago, and according to one expert, the price is unlikely to drop any time soon, but drivers can find slightly cheaper fuel with an easy search.

The average price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline in Chula Vista was $4.72 per gallon on Wednesday. A year ago, the median price was $3.53.

The Automobile Club of Southern California reported that between January and February prices tend to increase because refineries have to suspend operations to change the additive that is added to gasoline, from the one used in hot months, to the one used in, like now, is used in cold months.

But this time, according to Andrew Gross, a spokesman for the American Automobile Association (AAA), the price of crude oil soared on the world market, and that increased costs, which are reflected in the price to the consumer.

“Unfortunately for consumers, it doesn't look like this trend is going to change any time soon,” Gross told Chula Vista Today.

The price of a barrel of crude oil is currently around $90, about a third more than the average.

But tension over a potential confrontation in Eastern Europe has led to production contracting, and thus limited oil supply remains.

Those circumstances are partly responsible for the average price of fuel in San Diego County at $4.72 per gallon, at least 5 cents less than in Los Angeles.

Variations of that average price range in Chula Vista are between $4.99 and $4.25 per gallon.

If you fill up a 15-gallon tank at one of the cheapest outlets, you can save just over $7 at the average price and up to more than $11 compared to the most expensive price currently in Chula Vista.

An internet search locates most of the gas stations selling fuel between $4.25 and $4.33 per gallon on Broadway Street, with Main Street second.

Some are liquor stores that sell cheaper with cash, one is a membership store chain, and several more are gas stations and convenience stores.

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