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Gas prices move up in many areas as production drops

Southern California's annual refinery maintenance season has begun, and gas prices in many areas rose slightly this week in response to reduced gasoline production, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch.

The state average is $3.595 a gallon for regular as of Thursday -- one cent more than last week.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego is $3.63, which is 1.9 cents above last week, 5.9 cents lower than last month, and 42.5 cents lower than last year.

In the Los Angeles-Long Beach area, the average price is $3.632 per gallon, which is 2.5 cents more than last week, 6.5 cents lower than last month, and 43 cents lower than last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $3.644, down three-tenths of a cent from last week, 9 cents lower than a month ago, and 37 cents less than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average per-gallon price is $3.609, up 1.7 cents from last week, 7.2 cents less than last month, and 41.5 cents less than last year.

"Since the beginning of November, Southern California gas prices have stayed pretty stable, with averages ranging from $3.58 to $3.70 a gallon in the Los Angeles-Long Beach market," said Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring. "Gas prices have spiked upward -- sometimes very sharply -- each spring since the beginning of this century, but so far wholesale prices have not moved up high enough to indicate a spike in the near future."

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