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California gas prices drop by a half-penny

Associated Press Modified: October 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm •  Published: October 10, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California gas prices dipped a half-penny Wednesday, the first drop after a week that saw prices surge a record 50 cents.

The statewide average for regular unleaded was just under $4.67 a gallon, still the highest in the nation, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

Gas prices rose more than 50 cents a gallon between Oct. 1 and Oct. 8, from $4.168 to a record $4.671, the largest one-week price spike in California history, AAA spokesman Avery Ash said. The previous record was 26.2 cents a gallon in February.

One of the factors that led to the price surge was an August fire at Chevron Corp.'s huge refinery in Richmond, Calif. On Tuesday, the company announced the damaged unit that converts crude oil to gas will remain idle through the end of the year.

Some analysts see this as a sign that prices will remain high, but others are more optimistic because California is switching from an environmentally friendly summer blend to a cheaper winter blend.

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