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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 5:06 pm | Fair 62º


U.S. Fuel Demand Is Down, But Santa Barbara Gas Prices Are Still Going Up

Average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline has increased more than 10 cents locally during the past month

Santa Barbara drivers have seen prices at the pump increase more than 10 cents during the past month despite low fuel demand, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

The average price of a gallon of unleaded gas in Santa Barbara was $3.882 on Friday, a 1.1-cent increase during the past week. The price is 10.7 cents higher than a month ago and 43.4 cents lower year-to-date, according to GasBuddy.com.

The national average has ticked up 3.5 cents during the past week and 13 cents in the past month.

Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring said the rising prices are concerning because gas prices usually dip heading into spring, and America’s fuel demand is at a 10-year low.

“Southern California drivers are getting no relief from price hikes as we head into the spring, which in prior years has been a season of spiking gas prices,” he said. “Consumers need to keep in mind that gas prices can be unpredictable, but they can reduce their fuel usage by driving gently, properly maintaining their vehicle and primarily driving the household vehicle that gets the best fuel economy.”

A barrel of crude oil was $98.240 on Friday, which is about a $2 increase from last week, according to GasBuddy.com.

Santa Barbara motorists can find gas at $3.75 a gallon at the World station at 5960 Calle Real, the 76 at 5648 Hollister Ave., Conserv Fuel at 150 S. La Cumbre Road, Thrifty at 231 N. Milpas St. and Valero at 5661 Calle Real.

Drivers can find gas at $3.77 a gallon at the Vons at 165 N. Fairview Ave., USA Gasoline at 8 S. Milpas St. and ARCO at 3618 State St. The USA Gasoline at 636 W. Carrillo St. carries the least expensive diesel fuel at $4.03 a gallon.

The most expensive stations are the Chevron at 6895 Hollister Ave. at $4.19 a gallon and the Village Service Station at 1476 East Valley Road at $4.13 a gallon.

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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