February is normally a time of year when gasoline prices start to rise as demand goes up and oil companies conduct scheduled maintenance at refineries. But that is not happening this year, says AAA of Northern California.
Instead, gas prices are holding steady due to high oil inventories and continued strong production, the AAA noted Tuesday in its latest report.
Fresno’s average price for a gallon of unleaded gas Tuesday stood at $2.27, down 37 cents from a month ago, the AAA noted. A year ago, Fresno’s average was $2.60.
California’s average is $2.49, the highest price in the continental U.S. The most expensive city for gas is Eureka in far Northern California, where a gallon costs an average of $2.65.
The national average is $1.73. Both state and national averages are much lower than at this time a year ago.
Crude oil inventories are at their highest level for February in 80 years, the AAA noted.
“Unlike previous years, both gasoline and crude oil supplies are at record levels and the West Coast reports ample supply,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA spokeswoman. “This year, absent any major disruptions in supply or production, the status quo may change as gasoline prices remain low.”