Oct 5, 2012 2:25 AM by Kathy Kuretich

Gas prices soar across the region

The prices are painful, and some gas stations are beginning to run out of inventory, because the cost of wholesale gas is too high.

According to AAA, the average price in San Luis Obispo County on Thursday is $4.41.
Just a week ago, it was $4.21

In Santa Barbara County, it's $4.37, also 20 cents more than a week ago.

Experts said several factors are leading to a shortage, and driving prices up.

There have been several problems at refineries, lately... including a power failure which slowed a Southern California Exxon Mobil Corp. refinery, a San Fransisco area Chevron pipeline was shut down, and there was a fire at a Richmond Chevron refinery.

Also adding to the shortage - refineries are transitioning from a "summer blend" to a "winter blend", due to California strict pollution limits.

In Marina Del Ray on Thursday, drivers were turned away from Costco after they ran out of gas. And it's happening on the Central Coast, too.

At the Conserv Gas Station in San Luis Obispo, the pumps are dry.
The manager wouldn't tell us why, but some gas stations in the region have just stopped buying gasoline on the wholesale market.

The owner of University Gas in San Luis Obispo, says gas prices have jumped 35 cents in the past three days and its having an affect on business.
"The people are coming less, they're buying less and traffic is less," said Golam Mostafa.

But he's made sure his pumps are filled even though it's costing him a a lot more too. He said he paid $5000 dollars more for gas this week, compared to last week.
"Customers depend on us. They need to go to work, they need gas, so no matter what how high price or low price we need to keep inventory in our tank," he said.

According to reports out Thursday, wholesale prices are up $1 dollar a gallon... but retail prices are up 30 cents.
Experts expect consumers will be making up the difference, soon.



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