SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — If you’re wondering why gas prices are spiking in California, experts say blame the state’s refineries.

Drivers nationwide are paying about two dollars for a gallon of regular unleaded, which is 30 to 50 cents less than last year’s holiday season.

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But in California, we’re paying an average $2.83 per gallon, sixteen cents more than last year.

Equipment breakdowns at several refineries in the last month. Most of them in southern California, but one in the Bay Area. Here at the Tesoro refinery in Martinez.”

The west coast is also importing less gasoline than last year, because refineries didn’t think California would need it.

As a result, the cost of a gallon of premium has risen more than ten cents in just a week.

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AAA numbers published Monday show drivers in major Bay Area cities are paying between $2.69 and $2.79 per gallon, compared to $2.55 per gallon in Sacramento.

Drivers in Los Angeles are facing the steepest prices, averaging more than $3 per gallon.  Southern California is also the area seeing the most refinery equipment failures. says gas prices may level off in about a week, but not due to refinery repairs.  More gas will be imported into the area.

Until then, prices could rise an extra ten to fifteen cents in the next few days.

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