Bay Area’s high gas prices to climb higher

Prices at the pump remained low over the past month in the Bay Area and statewide but a change in season might signal impending increases, AAA officials said.

The average price of gas in the Bay Area was $2.42 as of today, exhibiting no change since the same time in February, according to AAA officials.

In San Francisco and San Mateo, the average price of gas dropped 2 cents to $2.55 and $2.50, respectively. There were more dramatic shifts in cities such as Oakland and Concord, where 30-cent increases brought average prices to $2.40 and $2.33, respectively.

Refineries are beginning to reduce production in preparation for the seasonal switchover to summer-blend gasoline, AAA spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said.

“Prices generally move during this time of year and the impact of this shift in schedule, combined with other seasonal factors, may cause prices to temporarily swing upward at the regional level at a faster rate than normal,” Harris said in a statement.

The national average price for regular unleaded gas is $1.81 per gallon, 6 cents higher than a month ago, according to the AAA.

California prices have actually slightly decreased overall from last month, from $2.49 to $2.46 per gallon.