Drivers Feeling Sticker Shock as Gas Prices Climb

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SACRAMENTO -- Local drivers are suffering sticker shock as gasoline prices continue to climb.

The jump in prices began several weeks ago when Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facility was targeted by a drone strike.

Average prices on Tuesday in the Sacramento area climbed to $4.07 per gallon for regular gas.

“Sixty dollars is what I was filling this van up two weeks ago. Now I think it was like $85 and it's still going,” Richard Contreras, who owns a carpet cleaning business, told FOX40.

He was filling up his work vehicle and said the increases will cost him about $400 a week.

The State Energy Commission said today that Saudi crude supplies and prices have recovered from the attack and that the gasoline spike had more to do with four California refineries that slowed or halted gasoline production for a variety of technical reasons.

“It’s possible that traders were reacting to those refinery issues,” commission spokesperson Albert Lundeen said.

But other analysts say prices are being affected by a shortage of crude oil. California does not have pipeline access to cheap crude from sources in the U.S. and that is sensitive to overseas crude deliveries.

One gas station in midtown Sacramento, which was listed by the website Gas Buddy as the cheapest in town on Monday, sold regular gas at $3.39 a gallon. Twenty-four hours later, it was selling regular for $3.69 a gallon, an example of how fast prices were moving.

Kristen Parker was a day late in filling her tank.

“That’s a 15% increase in one day, that’s quite significant increase,” said Parker.

Still, she was happy to get that price given the average for the area.

Some analysts predict that prices will continue to go up for the next week before prices stabilize and maybe retreat.

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