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AAA: Sacramento’s gas price average rises to $5

(KTXL) — Gas prices in California increased to an average of over $5 dollars on Friday, according to data from AAA. 

The statewide average for a gallon of regular gasoline on Friday was $5.07, a 34 cent increase from last week. According to AAA’s data, the average price of gas in Sacramento went up to $5.03 on Friday. 

A month ago, Sacramento’s average gas price was $4.61. According to AAA spokesperson Aldo Vasquez, Friday’s average in California is the highest it’s been since AAA started recording gas prices in 2000. 

Compared to other large cities in the state, Sacramento has a slightly lower average. San Francisco’s gas prices went up to an average of $5.21 on Friday while Los Angeles’ average is 5.15. According to FOX40’s sister station KRON4 in San Francisco, the city has a gas station that charges $6.09 for a gallon of regular unleaded gas, $6.37 for plus, and $6.59 for supreme. 
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Locally, prices went up in Modesto, Stockton-Lodi and Yuba City, but gas cost less in those cities compared to Sacramento. Modesto’s price is $4.84, Yuba City is $4.82 and Stockton-Lodi is $4.98. 

As for local counties, Placer County ($5.15), Nevada County ($5.19), El Dorado County ($5.05), Calaveras County ($5.07), Amador ($5.03) all have an average of over $5. Sacramento County’s average is $4.99, Yolo County is $4.96, San Joaquin County is $4.98, Stanislaus County is $4.84, Sutter County is $4.88, and Yuba County is $4.79. 

Factors leading to the rise in gas prices could be higher crude oil prices and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Vasquez said. 

Vasquez said the price of crude oil was $107 per barrel on Friday with the price being $110 earlier this week. Those prices are a significant jump from last year’s price of $80 per barrel in August 2021, according to Vasquez.

“As long as the price of crude oil continues to remain high or it continues to go up, we anticipate gas prices to go up,” Vasquez said. “Same goes with the war with Russia and Ukraine, as long as that continues to be a factor in this, we’ll continue to see some pressure building on in the crude oil market and unfortunately that’s going to mean prices will likely remain higher for quite some time.”    

Russia is one of the world’s biggest oil producers and if international sanctions are placed on the country, Vasquez explained that could lead to high gas prices. Vasquez says Russia produces about 5 million barrels of crude oil per day. 

“If there is a ban on Russian imports or if Russia withholds its crude oil from the global oil market, we can anticipate to see more pressure build on the global crude oil market and unfortunately that will mean higher prices for quite some time,” Vasquez said.

With the spring and summer months coming up, Vasquez says rising prices are expected to continue when people begin to travel, as demand is expected to rise. A national trucker shortage is another possible factor in gas price increases, Vasquez said. 
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“That continues to be an issue, which is going to delay the transportation of gasoline and that’s also going to factor into the cost,” Vasquez said about the trucker shortage. 

Compared to the rest of the country, California has the highest price average, according to AAA’s data. Vasquez isn’t sure why prices are higher in the Golden State, but transportation costs, marketing costs, state or county taxes, and access to refineries are possible factors. 

“Out here in the West Coast we have naturally higher gas prices because we don’t have the abundance of refineries as they do in the East Coast, so it’s easier for them to get more gasoline,” Vasquez said. “If you look at Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and those (southern) states, prices are going to lower and that’s just because their availability to those refineries is much better and easier than it is here in California.” 

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