Gas prices in South Central Ohio increased by nearly six cents this week to average at $2.308 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
A flip-flop from last week’s trend of cheaper gas prices, the bulk of the Great Lakes and Central States region is selling gas that is more expensive this week. Four Great Lakes and Central states saw the country’s largest increases in gas prices on the week, including Ohio (+9 cents).
The price increases come as gasoline inventory also increases with a 1.3 million bbl build. Sitting at 52.7 million bbl of gasoline inventory and given its proximity to the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes and Central states region could be tapped to help alleviate the tightness of supplies in Texas and surrounding areas caused by Tropical Storm Harvey.
This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average $2.308
Average price during the week of August 21, 2017 $2.253
Average price during the week of August 29, 2016 $2.190
Here is the price per gallon of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.230 East Liverpool
$2.326 Washington Court House
On the National Front
As Harvey blasted Texas, gas prices shot up across the country. At $2.37, today’s national gas price average is four cents more expensive on the week and one of the largest one-week national gas prices surge seen this summer.
About one quarter of oil refining capacity in the Gulf Coast had been taken offline, according to forecasts by Oil Price Information Service (OPIS). That equates to about 2.5 million barrels per day. Harvey has also caused eight refineries in Texas to shut down, while several others are operating at reduced rates.
In Corpus Christi, Flint Hills, Valero, CITGO and Valero Three Rivers remain offline since initial shutdowns began in advance of Harvey late last week. Over the weekend, Valero reported its refineries in Corpus Christi and Three Rivers sustained “substantial refinery impacts” and the company is evaluating infrastructure needs to determine when the refineries can resume operations. Corpus Christi is connected via pipeline to refineries in San Antonio and Nixon, TX, which can supply Corpus Christi if local refiners are offline for an extended period.
On Sunday, Magellan Midstream Partners suspended all inbound and outbound refined products and crude oil transportation services on its pipeline systems in the Houston area. Conversely, the Colonial Pipeline said its Gulf Coast pipeline and terminals are continuing to operate normally, delivering gasoline from Houston to the Mid-Atlantic.
It is still too soon for the market to know how badly damaged energy infrastructure is from the storm, but the coming days will offer more insight into how long recovery and restoration may take. Demand shifts based on the storm and countermeasures the market will take to meet a new supply and demand landscape will also be evaluated.
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.