The average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Santa Barbara County topped $4 this week as a result of reduced production, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California Weekend Gas Watch.

For the Santa Maria-Lompoc-Santa Barbara region, the average price reached $4.04 per gallon Thursday morning, which is 4 cents higher than last week, 14 cents higher than last month and $1.12 more than the price at this time last year, the Weekend Gas Watch report said.

The record high price for the Santa Barbara County region is $4.70, set June 21, 2008.

The highest average price reported Thursday was $4.06 per gallon in the Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area. Statewide, the average price hit $4.01.

Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring said reduced production and lower inventories are to blame for the continuing rise in gasoline prices. 

Spring noted the California Energy Commission on Wednesday reported production was down 1% from last week and inventories were down nearly 4%.

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