Despite national decline, Bay Area gas prices remain at record highs

National prices dropped to $4.19; S.F. prices clocked at $5.90

While the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline has decreased by 5 cents to $4.19 over the past week, Bay Area drivers are still paying $1.66 more a gallon than the rest of the country.

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration, an increase in the total domestic gasoline stock combined with a drop in demand helped nudge prices downward, according to AAA. If demand continues to decline as gasoline stocks continue to build, the national average will likely continue to move lower. The U.S. said Thursday it will release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

As of Sunday, the average price in California for a gallon of regular gas was $5.85.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, current average regular gas prices and month-over-month increases are as follows in these metro areas: Oakland, $5.83, up .85 cents; San Francisco and San Jose, $5.90, up about .85; San Rafael, $5.87, up .78; Santa Cruz, $5.80, up .90 cents; Santa Rosa, $5.86, up .78; Stockton, $5.69, up .89 (though currently ranking as the 10th least expensive region in California); and Vallejo, $5.75, up .80.

The cheapest gas in the state can be found in the Hanford area, $5.57 for a gallon of regular.

The global oil market remains highly volatile, so additional news that threatens supply could put upward pressure on oil prices, AAA said.

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