Gas prices have risen suddenly and dramatically in recent days in California. And experts think we have yet to see the worst of it. The average price of one gallon of regular gas in California rose eight cents from Wednesday to Thursday. Additionally, prices have gone up 18 cents in the past week.
"The gasoline market is very tight in California. The price is very high, and we expect retail prices to continue rising over the next couple days," said Gordon Schremp, a spokesperson for the California Energy Commission.
The sudden rise in prices has been linked to shortages in the supply of gas. The reason for the shortage, experts say, is a series of accidents at California oil refineries. In August, a Chevron refinery caught fire in Northern California, crippling production. Then, earlier this week, an Exxon refinery in Torrance suffered a power outage.
But there is good news for consumers – relief is eventually coming provided the crippled refineries can resume normal operations soon.
"These kinds of events are usually short-lived. They're temporary in nature," said Schremp. "Once the refineries start to come back from their unplanned outage, which Exxon Mobil is in the process of doing, it's still going to take a number of days, but that will improve gasoline supplies."
The current state average of $4.32 per gallon of regular gas is still not close to the all-time record. The state record was 29 cents higher at $4.61 back in 2008.