LOS ANG (AP) _ A federal judge has dismissed a decade-old series of suits brought by five states accusing major oil companies of conspiring to create a gasoline shortage and fix prices in the early 1970s, officials announced Wednesday.

The suits, bought by California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Florida, had sought damages that could have totaled billions of dollars.

The summary judgment dismissing the suits was handed down Tuesday by U.S. District Judge William Gray. Gray also awarded the companies legal costs.

California Assistant Attorney General Thomas Dove in San Francisco said those costs, which exclude attorney fees, ''could be in the high six figures'' for each of the states.

Dove said California would ask Gray to reconsider his decision on grounds that he wrongly applied certain precedents in making the decision.

''Failing that, we will appeal to the 9th Circuit Court'' in San Francisco, he said.

The suits were filed by the states between 1973 and 1977 and named 16 oil companies - virtually every major refiner in the nation.

Of the original defendants, seven remained: Atlantic Richfield Co. and Unocal Corp. of Los Angeles, Chevron Corp. of San Francisco, Mobil Corp. and Exxon Corp. of New York, Royal Dutch-Shell Group of Houston, and Texaco Inc. of White Plains, N.Y.

Most of the others settled out of court. At least two, Getty Oil Co. and Gulf Corp., were acquired by other defendants.

The suits, filed separately, were consolidated before Judge Gray because they all dealt with the same issues.

They alleged that the companies conspired to contrive a gasoline shortage and to fix prices at artificially high levels.

In his 37-page decision, Gray said, ''There is no sign of a paper trail pointing to a conspiracy.''

He noted that more than 400 depositions had been taken in the case and that they had ''failed to disclose any proof of collusive action in setting gasoline prices.''

''On the contrary, there is voluminous evidence through documents and depositions that there was dynamic and vigorous competition,'' he said.

Gray also rejected the argument that the companies conspired to create the gasoline shortage, saying, ''Whatever causal relations that defendants may have had with the shortages, they stemmed from individual actions or lack of actions, not from any conspiracy.''

Bob Pott, an attorney for Unocal, said he was pleased with Gray's decision.

''I think it demonstrates there is such a thing as justice,'' he said.

The suits didn't specify the damages being sought, but Pott estimated they were ''probably in the billions.''

The ruling doesn't affect another oil company price-fixing case before Judge Gray.

In that case the state of California and the city of Long Beach accused oil companies of conspiring to depress prices for crude oil from state-owned tidelands fields, which are administered by Long Beach and produce royalties for the city and the state.

That suit names as defendants Chevron, Exxon, Mobil, Shell, Texaco and Unocal and seeks $1.6 billion in damages. It is the third attempt by California and Long Beach to win damages on this issue.