Gas prices drop as refineries recover from storms

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Gas prices continued their downward trend this week in South Central Ohio, falling by nine cents over the week to $2.426 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

The Great Lakes and Central states are seeing some of the largest declines in gas prices (Ohio, -11 cents). The region is also selling some of the cheapest gas in the country (Ohio, $2.37). Parts of the region saw gas prices spike alongside Harvey hitting the Gulf Coast. However, with pipelines resuming operations as of late, motorists are seeing gas prices decrease. As we move into fall and gasoline demand drops-off, consumers could see some of the lowest gas prices of 2017.

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average $2.426

Average price during the week of Sept. 11, 2017 $2.516

Average price during the week of Sept. 19, 2016 $2.172

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

$2.528 Athens

$2.231 Chillicothe

$2.396 Columbiana

$2.493 East Liverpool

$2.499 Gallipolis

$2.352 Hillsboro

$2.442 Ironton

$2.495 Jackson

$2.463 Logan

$2.484 Marietta

$2.505 Portsmouth

$2.377 Steubenville

$2.287 Washington Court House

$2.409 Waverly

On the National Front

As South and Southeast states continue to recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, motorists in 45 U.S. states are paying less for a gallon of gas on the week. At $2.62, today’s national gas price average is the cheapest in 14 days and five cents less than last week.

As gas prices drop for the majority of the country, so does the nation’s gasoline inventory. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report identifies the latest draw of 8.4 million bbl as the highest on record, much of which can be attributed to motorist fueling up in the droves in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.

Last week, at $2.73, Florida’s saw its highest gas prices since December 2014. The spike came as many gas stations faced outages as power was down and roads impassable. The good news is that in the last seven days, the state’s average has shaved off one cent. In addition, ports are open and receiving steady streams of tanker shipments as state officials continue to work with gasoline trucker and shippers to ensure timely delivery of product to retail stations. Reports indicate that the gas station gasoline outage situation is improving as stations receive deliveries.

Similarly, positive progress is being seen in the Gulf Coast. According to the Department of Energy, a total of six Gulf Coast refineries are operating at reduced rates, which is one more refinery than last week. These six facilities make-up 13 percent of refining capacity in the U.S. Five refineries continue to operate at reduced rates and three remain shut down, which represents a total of 10 percent of U.S. refining capacity. It will likely be a few more weeks before the regions affected by Irma and Harvey are back to normal operations.

As refineries work to reach pre-storm capacity levels, oil inventories may decline in the coming weeks as refineries turn to storage tanks to meet demand needs. Given that the fall driving season tends to be less demand-driven, any declines in inventories are likely to keep pace with demand.

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 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 Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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