Prices have surged so quickly that some service station owners are shutting down their pumps to avoid getting stuck with storage tanks filled with high-price petrol.
Meanwhile, motorists in California are avoiding driving when possible and changing their habits to conserve fuel, according to an ABC report
A gallon of regular gas cost $5.69 on Thursday in Calabasas, and premium grades cost $5.99 per gallon on credit cards.
Friday, prices continued to edge up almost as quickly as they are posted on signs. For many Independents, the fuel price surge cuts too deep into their profit margins so owners are simply not purchasing more fuel.
Supply is also a problem, with Independents waiting in line for resupply. Low-P station owner Tanya Barkhordar is concerned that customers will blame her because she had to close down for a day.
"This is what I love," said Barkhordar, who's open for business after closing for a day because she couldn't get gasoline from a refinery. "We're sorry it's not our fault. We have no choice."
A California Chevon refinery
fire and delays in pipeline repairs are driving gas prices up and pushing California fuel reserves to a 10-year low.
In the U.S., the cost of gas is up to $3.78 per gallon, but prices are over $4 per gallon in many states. For example in Washington State, motorists pay an average price of $4.03. In the Northeast, around New York and Connecticut the average cost of a gallon of gas is $4.10.
In California, gas prices at the pump have increased about 45 cents per gallon in the past year.