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San Diego area gas prices jumped 10 to 15 cents per gallon last week, with many stations pushing their cash price for regular gas over the $3.00 threshold. Surprisingly, the oil companies are not offering their usual lame explanations.

Historically, in a quickly rising gas-price market, drivers in the El Cajon area find the lowest prices, as they did on June 27. Seven of the top-ten lowest-priced stations in the county were in the East County area, with the lowest being the Ram station at 407 El Cajon Boulevard at $2.55/gallon.

El Cajon’s low prices are not without competition from some stations in the Escondido area, with the OAAI station at 501 West 9th Avenue offering the county’s lowest at $2.50. El Cajon and Escondido’s numerous independent stations, locations abandoned over the years by major retailers, seemed to always offer the lowest prices in the county.

While Chevron usually prices itself as the highest priced chain in San Diego, on June 27, two 76 stations in Kearny Mesa and Pacific Beach, along with two Shell stations in El Cajon and Del Mar, ranked in the top five at $3.70. Coronado’s 76 was the highest at $3.80.

Global predictions were that crude-oil prices would go skyward with England’s June 24 vote to leave the European Union. Not so, as world oil prices fell 5 percent after the vote’s tally. “It’s the largest one-day decline since February,” reported Reuters.

Nationwide, oil companies usually blame the expected run-up in prices to the Fourth of July holiday with its increased summer driving. But, San Diego’s July gas prices have remained stable or fell three of the last four years.

However, in 2015, San Diego prices unexpectedly rose 45 cents per gallon last July, according to charts provided by gasbuddy.com. The rise was caused solely by financial speculation in the wholesale Los Angeles spot gas market. Once the profiteers lost out, prices lowered as the 2015 summer progressed.

(corrected 6/27, 1:50 p.m.)

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Ken Harrison June 28, 2016 @ 5:49 p.m.

It wasn't bad enough that the 76 in Coronado had the highest priced gas in San Diego, but then today (6/28) they raised it another 10 cents/gal., while the other four mentioned high-priced stations remained the same.


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