RIVERSIDE, Calif. -

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Inland Empire rose Thursday for the sixth time in seven days, increasing four-tenths of a cent to $3.836.

   The average price in Riverside and San Bernardino counties is 2.1 cents more than one week ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

   However, it is 14.8 cents less than one month ago and 31 cents below what it was one year ago, mainly thanks to a stretch of 29 decreases in 30 days that ended Friday.

   ``We have seen wholesale prices jumping in the last several days to about the same level they were a month ago, but luckily, we are seeing only small price jumps in Southern California markets,'' Marie Montgomery of the Automobile Club of Southern California told City News Service.

   ``Middle East tensions have caused an increase in oil prices and that's likely the primary driver behind these increases.''