Big drop at the pump for South Central Ohioans


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South Central Ohio drivers enjoy a reduction of gas prices for the second week in a row with gas prices going down another 12 cents to $2.219 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

On the National Front

The national average price of gas continues to decline as U.S. oil production increases. Today’s average price of $2.31 per gallon represents a decrease of three cents per gallon on the week, four cents per gallon on the month, and prices have moved lower for 14 of the past 15 days. Despite this recent trend lower, retail averages are up by 46 cents per gallon as compared to one year ago.

Drivers in the Great Lakes region continue to see impressive discounts with Ohio topping the list of largest weekly declines dropping 13 cents. The most recent Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows that Midwest storage levels increased by 1 million-bbl over the past week, to a total of 53 million bbl. Storage increases paired with a drop in demand this month likely attributed to regional and national price declines.

At Sunday’s OPEC meeting, energy ministers announced that the cartel has successfully limited oil output in an effort to reduce oversupply and support crude oil prices. At the meeting, OPEC announced that participating countries had already cut production by 1.5 million barrels per day. Eleven of OPEC’s 13 members along with 11 non-OPEC countries struck an agreement last November to cut production collectively by 1.8 million barrels per day for the first six months of 2017. Participating members also agreed to create a joint technical committee (JTC) to work with the OPEC Secretariat in assembling a production data report that will be released the 17th of every month, beginning in March.

OPEC’s production announcement did little to impact crude oil futures, which were trading lower early Monday. The drop is likely a result of an increase in U.S. oil production as evidenced by the 35 additional oilrigs reported by Baker Hughes. The introduction of these new rigs brings the total U.S. rig count to 694, which represents a significant increase in output counteracting OPEC’s production cut. Traders will keep a close eye on how OPEC output cuts and increased U.S. production impact the market moving forward. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate closed up $1.05 to settle at $52.42 per barrel.

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average $2.219

Average price during the week of January 17, 2017 $2.331

Average price during the week of January 25, 2016 $1.661

Here is the price per gallon of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:

$2.398 Athens

$2.090 Chillicothe

$2.020 Columbiana

$2.220 East Liverpool

$2.393 Gallipolis

$2.117 Hillsboro

$2.310 Ironton

$2.245 Jackson

$2.184 Logan

$2.321 Marietta

$2.249 Portsmouth

$2.192 Steubenville

$2.094 Washington Court House

$2.238 Waverly

Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

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