South Central Ohio gas prices rose 13 cents this week to $2.419 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Fuel Gauge Report.
On the National Front
Retail averages have increased 28 of the past 30 days and prices have moved higher by fractions of a penny since Friday. The national average for regular unleaded gasoline currently sits at $2.29 per gallon, which is five cents more than one week ago, 16 cents more than one month ago and 29 cents more year-over-year. Most U.S. drivers are expected to pay the second-cheapest New Year’s Day gas prices since 2009, when the national average was $1.62.
Heading into 2017, gasoline demand is expected to drop drastically during the month of January following the busy holiday travel season. Over the past five years, the average drop during that period has been 358,000 b/d (barrels per day) or about 15-million gallons, according to OPIS. The oil information service estimates a larger dip this year.
Last week BP shut down a 70,000-b/d reformer unit at its 430,000-b/d Whiting, Ind., refinery, according to reports from OPIS. The outage was only expected to last a few days but will have impact on supplies in the region. The refinery is the largest in the region and any production outages typically result in increases at the pump.
To start off the New Year, all eyes will be on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to see if they, along with partnering countries, will stick to their 6-month promise to cut 1.8-million b/d of crude. Last month, OPEC along with non-cartel countries worked out an agreement to limit crude oil production by 1.8 million barrels per day beginning in January 2017. Efforts to curb oil production are aimed at rebalancing the oil supply and as a result, markets have reacted, causing retail prices to increase. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate was up seven cents to settle at $53.02 per barrel.
This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average $2.419
Average price during the week of December 19, 2016 $2.288
Average price during the week of December 28, 2015 $1.899
Here is the price per gallon of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.345 East Liverpool
$2.480 Washington Court House
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.