South Central Ohio drivers see Harvey’s impact at the pump


Gas prices in South Central Ohio jumped by 25 cents this week to an average of $2.557 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

Prices across the Great Lakes and Central States region have seen significant movement over the past week. A majority of the price increase is due to the gasoline supply distribution disruption out of the Gulf Coast. As pipelines begin to reopen and gasoline deliveries to the Midwest get back on track, motorists will start to see some relief with lower gas prices during the month. The EIA’s latest report shows Midwest gasoline inventories remain steady at 52.2 million barrels last week

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average $2.557

Average price during the week of Aug. 28, 2017 $2.308

Average price during the week of Sept. 6, 2016 $2.120

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

$2.560 Athens

$2.531 Chillicothe

$2.553 Columbiana

$2.472 East Liverpool

$2.575 Gallipolis

$2.552 Hillsboro

$2.599 Ironton

$2.576 Jackson

$2.562 Logan

$2.609 Marietta

$2.583 Portsmouth

$2.574 Steubenville

$2.520 Washington Court House

$2.527 Waverly

On the National Front

Hurricane Harvey may no longer be raining down on the Gulf Coast, but the storm’s impact continues to drive up gas prices across the country. At $2.65, the national gas price average is 27 cents more expensive on the week. Motorists in 26 states are paying 25 to 44 cents more for a gallon of unleaded compared to seven days ago. In fact, every state in the country has seen gas prices increase except four (Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii and Utah), where prices remain stable.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is reporting that eight Gulf Coast refineries are in the process of restarting, which accounts for about 10 percent of Gulf Coast refining capabilities. At its peak, Harvey shuttered 27 percent of U.S. processing capacity. No refineries have returned to normal rates, but at least four are operating at reduced rates. Meanwhile, pipelines forced to take pre-cautionary shut downs caused by Harvey either have resumed operations or are in the process of coming back online. This includes the Colonial Pipeline, which currently has only suspended the Texas operations, while the remainder of the system continues to operate with available supply.

Losses in U.S. supply capability have catapulted retail prices to their highest levels since August 2015. Overall, gas prices are pennies away from topping the highest price ($2.67, August 15-18, 2015) Americans have paid for a gallon of gas in more than two years. However, prices remain well below initial weeks of September 2011 through 2014, according to OPIS. The last two years have seen inordinately cheap gasoline as the driving season ended (Labor Day weekend) and AAA expects this to be the case come October.

As Texas dries out from Harvey, all eyes are on Hurricane Irma, now a Category 5 hurricane, which currently is expected to hit the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean Tuesday night into Wednesday. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. According to the National Hurricane Center, there is an increasing chance that the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys may see some impact this coming weekend. However, Irma’s changing storm track could bring an altered forecast in the coming days.

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]AAA.com/mobile.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 81 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. Past news releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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