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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose Wednesday for the eighth consecutive day and 15th time in 16 days, increasing a half-cent to $4.091, its highest amount since Oct. 22, 2019.

The average price has risen 8.5 cents over the past 16 days, including seven-tenths of a cent Tuesday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 4.8 cents higher than one week ago, 12.6 cents more than one month ago and $1.318 greater than one year ago.

The run of increases “is a fairly typical pattern for Southern California gas prices each spring” as “demand rises while refineries often struggle to keep up due to maintenance issues, fuel ingredient shortfalls or other problems,” said Marie Montgomery, a public relations specialist with the Automobile Club of Southern California.

“When local refineries can’t produce enough fuel, replacement gasoline must come by ship, usually from other countries, because there is no pipeline to get a substitute supply from other states,” Montgomery told City News Service. “Typically most California supply issues are ironed out by May, when gas prices usually reach their highest point.”

The average price has risen 79 of the past 86 days, increasing 61.2 cents, and 86.4 cents since the start of the year.

The large price increase from one year ago is the result of a significant decrease during the early stage of the coronavirus pandemic, when driving and demand dropped substantially because of stay-at-home orders intended to reduce the spread of the virus.

The average price is eight-tenths of a cent less than it was on May 5, 2019.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.