Gas prices increase | TheUnion.com
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Gas prices increase

Gas prices in Northern California defied typical seasonal trends and edged upward from October, according to the American Automobile Association.

The AAA’s monthly gas price survey released Tuesday showed an average $1.66 a gallon in Northern California – up 7 cents since October.

In a separate survey by The Union, prices at seven gas stations in Grass Valley were up 7 cents from a month ago, to $1.51 a gallon.



AAA spokesman Atle Erlingsson said it was unusual to see prices spike in November, a time when demand usually goes down and prices often fall.

Gas consumption has gone up the last two weeks, while refineries cut back on production, causing the price spike, said Erlingsson.




“Over the past several weeks, demand for gas has slowly been outpacing available supply,” said Erlingsson. “It’s a simple supply-and-demand issue.”

According to the Energy Information Administration, gasoline stocks on the West Coast have slid 9 percent since mid-October, while demand for fuel has risen 9 percent.

Erlingsson said there are no indicators that suggest the price jump is a long-term trend.

But there are so many variables that it is difficult to predict exactly what will happen with gas prices, notes Erlingsson – especially the possibility of military conflict with Iraq, which could boost retail prices.

Marysville motorists had the cheapest gas prices in the state on Tuesday at $1.48 a gallon. Eureka had the most expensive fuel at $1.86 a gallon. The U.S. average price was $1.46 a gallon.


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