Gas Prices Shoot Up, Reach Nearly $6 Average in California

Gas prices across the U.S. are surging, with the West Coast seeing the sharpest spike in gasoline prices, according to AAA.

California drivers are suffering the highest average price of gasoline, at $5.88 per gallon. In Los Angeles County, the average has already exceeded $6 per gallon.

Drivers in Nevada have to deal with an average price of $5.17 per gallon, while Washington state’s average is $4.72 per gallon.

The average price has reached $4.49 in Illinois, the highest in the Midwest. In surrounding states and the South, average prices are far lower.

Texas and Iowa are averaging $3.88 per gallon, and Ohio and Georgia are at $3.99 per gallon.

CNBC asked Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at OPIS, about how high the price of gas can go amid the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and fracking/pipeline cancellations.

“The honest answer is I have no idea,” said Kloza. “I think on the West Coast, we could see prices close to $6 a gallon. I think for the rest of the country, I’m in the $4.25 to $4.75 camp.”

New refining capacity is expected to come online in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Nigeria, which should alleviate record high prices. Still, Koza warned that the U.S. might not see the effects for the rest of the year.

“Those refineries were designed to maximize yields of the middle of the refined barrel and will be capable of making large amounts of diesel and jet fuel,” according to Kloza. “But the rest of 2022 and early portions of 2023 will be dependent on existing global capacity, against the backdrop of the most uncertainty for crude oil supply since the 1970s.”

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