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Bay Area Gas Prices Continue To Soar During Summer Travel Season

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The San Francisco Bay Area continues to lead the nation when it comes to the cost of filling up your tank with prices for a gallon of gas inching reaching a seven year high.

Statewide, the average price rose two cents this week to $4.30 a gallon for regular unleaded, giving Californians the highest average price since 2012.

Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring said there were several factors in play.

"International oil producers such as OPEC can't agree on production levels which causes uncertainty in the markets," s Spring said. "Combined with continued strong summer demand, this ongoing, steady rise in prices has taken us to the highest average price in many areas since October 2012."

As of Sunday, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in San Francisco was $4.46. The average price was $4.37 in Oakland and San Jose.

GasBuddy.Com reported the most expensive station in the Bay Area is a Shell station on Bryant and 4th Streets in San Francisco. The price for the regular unleaded there is $5.60 a gallon.

"I was surprised," said Jose Sanchez who was filling up at a local gas station. "I didn't even see the gas prices. I didn't even look (as I was pulling into the station.) I just turned in here. And I went to go pump it, and I'm like '$5.60, nah.'"

That was why the station was empty for much of the day. Most people stopped to get a few gallons, just enough to get home.

Energy expert and UC Berkeley professor Severin Borenstein said the prices have hit the peak.

"We're likely to see prices around the level we have right now through the Summer. And they will gradually start trending downward," said Borenstein.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area was $4.33 per gallon, which was three cents higher than last week, nine cents higher than last month, and $1.24 higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price was $4.29, two cents higher than last week, eight cents more than last month, and $1.17 higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price was $4.27, which is one cent higher than last week, seven cents higher than last month, and $1.15 higher than last year.

The Auto Club recommends motorists try fuel conservation tactics such as driving conservatively, anticipating road conditions ahead to avoid fast stops and starts and avoiding excessive idling.

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