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California leads nation in gas prices
gas prices


*As of 1 p.m. Tuesday

$3.05 — Costco, both ARCO stations on Lander Avenue

$3.07 — ARCO at 210 N. Golden State Blvd.

$3.09 — ARCO on W. Main and Walnut

$3.11 — ARCO stations at 2301 Fulkerth and 4700 N. Golden State

$3.13 — Circle K at 1600 W. Main

California is once again the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline. A gallon of unleaded gasoline was averaging $3.80 on Tuesday. The state average has climbed by 22 cents per gallon since Friday and has gained the attention of the California Energy Commission.


Thankfully for Turlock drivers, local gas prices on Tuesday were registering much below state averages at $3.05 to $3.49 a gallon.

Of all metro areas tracked by AAA in Northern California, San Francisco registered the highest price at $3.62 per gallon of unleaded regular.

 “Drivers in California are once again weathering sharp increases in gas prices this past week due to reports of tightening supply in the state," said Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokesperson. “This recent surge has drawn the attention of the California Energy Commission, which is now investigating the fundamentals behind this spike.”

Early reports indicate that the despite refineries exceeding last year’s production rates, higher than expected demand for gasoline has resulted in significant drawdowns in supply and distribution systems have been unable to keep pace. Suppliers often operate in “just-in-time” gasoline inventories—supply is delivered only as demand requires—which limits storage costs, but can lead to significant spikes in price when supply and demand are out of balance. Upward pressure is likely to remain on prices in the region until supply issues are resolved.

Tuesday's national average price for regular unleaded gasoline was $2.78 per gallon. The average is just fractions of a penny more than a week ago and is at the lowest mark for this date in nearly five years.

Nationally, the retail average has fallen for 19 of the past 30 days and is three cents per gallon less than the 2015 peak price of $2.80 per gallon (June 15).

Political considerations in Greece remain front and center for market watchers. Negotiations with Iran are reportedly nearing a conclusion and could include the lifting of sanctions that would return Iranian crude oil to an already oversupplied global market. Both international events have the potential to put additional downward pressure on price and contribute to the oversupply that currently characterizes global oil markets. 

After temporarily dropping below the $52 per barrel mark during Friday’s trading session, WTI prices recovered most of their losses at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX to close the week down four cents at $52.74 per barrel.