Metro Phoenix gas prices surge past $4 after single-day jump of 15 cents

Apr 3, 2024, 9:15 AM

A man in a pink shirt pumps gas into a silver SUV at a Florida gas station. Metro Phoenix gas price...

Metro Phoenix gas prices surged past the $4 mark on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, according to AAA. (Getty Images File Photo)

(Getty Images File Photo)

PHOENIX – Metro Phoenix gas prices surged overnight to eclipse the $4 mark on Wednesday, according to AAA.

Valley drivers woke up to an average price of $4.043 for a gallon of regular gas, per to AAA tracking, up nearly 15 cents from Tuesday.

Phoenix gas prices have gone up by more than 50 cents in the last month, but they are still nearly 50 cents cheaper than the same time last year.

Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at price reporting agency Oil Price Information Service, blamed the recent surge on reduced capacity of California refineries.

“The good news is that by June and July all of the maintenance should be done,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday morning. “The bad news is toward the second half of the summer you could get very high prices to return.”

How high will Valley gas prices go?

Kloza said Valley drivers can expect an upcoming period of relief followed by another surge, likening the price curve to a two-humped camel.

“The problem is that there’s a lot of California refining that will be down for maintenance in May. After that, I think you get a break, and then it’s all about what happens in the second half of the summer quarter, basically,” he said.

“But it’s pretty easy to predict you’re going up another nickel, 10, 15, 20 cents a gallon.”

How do Arizona prices compare to other states?

Phoenix, with an average price of $4.077 per gallon, is the city with the most expensive gas in Arizona, according to AAA. The state average Wednesday was $3.912, up 10 cents from Tuesday.

The national average Wednesday was $3.549.

Arizona drivers can be glad about one thing: They aren’t in California.

“You might think it’s pretty rough in Arizona right now, but California is back above $5.15 on an average price, and they’re going dramatically higher.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

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Metro Phoenix gas prices surge past $4 after single-day jump of 15 cents