South Central Ohio motorists drive into 2018 paying more at the pump


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Gas prices in South Central Ohio are up by seven cents this week to $2.504 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

Across the Great Lakes and Central region, gas prices have increased as much as 10 cents on the week with four states landing on this week’s top 10 states with the largest increases, including Ohio (+10 cents). Compared to beginning of December, Ohio (+15 cents) is one of the only states where gas prices have increased more than 10 cents on the month.

With a 259,000 barrel build, gasoline inventory sits at 48.1 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) (week ending Dec. 22). The last time the region had inventory under 50 million barrels was at the end of the year was in 2010.

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average $2.504

Average price during the week of Dec. 26, 2017 $2.431

Average price during the week of Jan. 3, 2017 $2.376

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

$2.492 Athens

$2.534 Chillicothe

$2.554 Columbiana

$2.399 East Liverpool

$2.488 Gallipolis

$2.541 Hillsboro

$2.459 Ironton

$2.588 Jackson

$2.511 Logan

$2.340 Marietta

$2.450 Portsmouth

$2.551 Steubenville

$2.559 Washington Court House

$2.588 Waverly

On the National Front

At $2.49, the national gas price average is the most expensive seen at the start of a new year since 2014, when gas prices were more than $3/gallon. High travel volumes over the holidays drove gas prices up five cents on the week. At the start of 2018, motorists in the Northeast, South and the upper Midwest are seeing pump prices as much as 13 cents more expensive than one week ago.

The latest EIA report measures gasoline demand at a strong 9.5 million b/d, which is typical of the holiday season. However, historical data shows that in early January demand typical drops and stays below the 9 million mark for the first few months of the year.

On Friday, the final day of trading for 2017, West Texas Intermediate closed 58 cents up, reaching its highest price of the year: $60.42 per barrel. Moving into 2018, prices are expected to continue rising as OPEC’s production reduction agreement will remain in place for the entirety of the year.

In 2018, U.S. crude production is expected to hit 10 million b/d for the first time ever, helping the country to meet domestic demand and expand its export prowess to countries that have growing energy demands around the globe. The total number of active rigs, 747, is 222 more than the total active number of rigs at the beginning of 2017.

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 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. News releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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