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Area Gas Prices Hang Around $3.24 Mark

Posted: February 22, 2008 4:00 p.m.
Updated: April 24, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Gas prices in the Santa Clarita Valley averaged $3.24 this week, but a local expert believes the cost for a gallon of gas may be on the increase in light of crude oil prices hitting the $100 mark earlier this week.

The cheapest price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.11 at the Arco station on Sierra Highway and Friendly Valley in Newhall, according to weekly survey conducted by Randy Cressall, owner of Valencia Auto Spa.

The survey puts the most expensive gas at the 76 station on Lyons Avenue and Newhall Avenue in Newhall, where a gallon of regular is at $3.39.

The average gas price in the Santa Clarita Valley has been on the rise for some time as last week's average was $3.15 and the week before saw an average of $3.12.

However, with a barrel of crude oil closing in at just over $100 on Tuesday, Cressall believes the cost of gas for consumers may substantially jump up as soon as next week, depending on how often gas is delivered to local stations.

"Usually oil companies pass it on to us the following day," Cressall said about the increases that service stations face after a rise in crude oil prices.

On top of that, Cressall notes that gas station operators make a "very small percentage" on every gallon of gas sold. As a result, he said a dealer has to pass on the higher rate of gas to the consumer, sometimes as soon as the following week if a delivery comes in.

Cressall said he has already seen a 10 cent per gallon increase since his last delivery, which will soon force him to charge consumers more.

As for the reasons behind the unexpected spike in crude oil prices, Cressall said wasn't able to pinpoint one reason, but speculated that the explosion of a refinery in Texas and turmoil in Venezuela could offer some explanation.

"I don't see anything particular," he said. "But I do expect more price increases."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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