Price of gas is above $6 a gallon again in California

pumping gas
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Sacramento residents who went to fill up their tanks Thursday morning were greeted by a surprise: the price of gas had risen 15 cents per gallon -- literally overnight.

That puts the average cost of a gallon of gas in the California city at more than $6 per gallon, according to AAA. Just a week ago, it was selling for $5.42; three weeks before that, it was only $5.16 per gallon.

Analysts warn that pump prices may also break new records soon if they keep increasing at the current pace of 10-15 cents a day.

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $6.18, which is 66 cents higher than last week, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. That compares to the average national price of $3.78, which is 10 cents higher than a week ago.

"This week saw the most significant gas price increases since they jumped 77 cents in one week in March," Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe said in a statement. "Local wholesale gasoline prices are now 35 cents higher than their all-time record reached in June, when gas prices climbed to an all-time record average of $6.46 in Los Angeles."

In the Los Angeles-Long Beach area, the average price is $6.26 per gallon, which is 67 cents higher than last week, 98 cents higher than last month, and $1.85 higher than last year.

In San Diego, the average price is $6.20, which is 67 cents higher than last week, 96 cents higher than last month, and $1.85 higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $6.20, which is 67 cents higher than last week, 80 cents higher than last month and $1.84 higher than last year.

In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $6.11, which is 67 cents higher than last week, 95 cents higher than last month and $1.79 higher than a year ago.

In Bakersfield, the $5.97 average price is 51 cents higher than last Thursday, 58 cents higher than last month and $1.62 higher than a year ago.

In addition to refinery maintenance issues, experts are blaming the spike on the fact that most gas stations in the U.S. have started selling a less-expensive winter blend of gasoline, which has enabled them to lower prices.

While California is planning to make the switch too, it won't happen until November, according  to AAA.

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