California gas prices ease fractionally

  • Gasoline prices higher than $5 per gallon are posted at a Menlo Park, Calif., Chevron station on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. Californians woke up to a shock Friday as overnight gasoline prices jumped by as much as 20 cents a gallon in some areas, ending a week of soaring costs that saw some stations close and others charge record prices. The average price of regular gas across the state was nearly $4.49 a gallon, the highest in the nation, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge report. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

LOS ANGELES — California gas prices eased fractionally Wednesday after five days of staggering increases that saw prices closing in on $5 a gallon, but a Chevron refinery closure through the rest of the year might put a crimp in plans to reduce pump pain.

During the five-day price surges, gas went up about 50 cents a gallon.

The average price of regular Wednesday was less than $4.67 a gallon, down a half-cent from Tuesday, but it's still the highest price in the nation, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.

The highest average price in the state was $4.75 in the San Luis Obispo, Atascadero and Paso Robles area. San Francisco's price was just over $4.73 a gallon, followed by San Diego at $4.71 and the Los Angeles area at $4.70.

State officials predicted prices would fall after Gov. Jerry Brown ordered early production of a winter fuel blend to replace costlier summer blends.

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