Gas prices in South Central Ohio dropped by three cents this week to $2.453 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
On the week, gas prices are less volatile than we have seen in the Great Lakes and Central region since the start of the year. While prices increased for most states from 1 to 6 cents, a few states saw no or little change. Gasoline is, on average, about one cent more in Ohio over the week ($2.45).
Gasoline inventory bumped up 875,000 barrels to push levels to 56 million barrels. The last time inventory was this high was April 2017, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). For the first time in three weeks, regional refinery utilization rates increased to 92 percent. The week prior’s rate was the lowest since mid-November.
This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average $2.453
Average price during the week of Jan. 29, 2018 $2.482
Average price during the week of Feb. 6, 2017 $2.125
Here is the price per gallon of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.480 East Liverpool
$2.410 Washington Court House
On the National Front
The national gas price average has increased for the sixth consecutive week, landing today’s national average at $2.61. That is 18 cents more expensive since prices started the upward trend in late-December and 3 cents more than last Monday.
Every motorist in the country is paying more at the pump year-over-year. At 18 cents, Utah is seeing the smallest increase and California is feeling the biggest increase at 52 cents compared to the same time last year. This can be attributed to strong demand coupled with steadily rising oil prices. On the week, U.S. consumer gasoline demand hit 9 million barrels-per-day. In 2017, demand did not reach this mark until early March, according to the EIA.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate decreased 35 cents to settle at $65.45. Last week’s losses, which were buoyed by a stronger dollar, may extend into this week after EIA’s latest weekly report revealed that crude inventories grew by an astonishing 6.8 million barrels-per-day.
The crude oil growth may give the market some pause as it assesses the long-term impact of OPEC’s production reduction agreement, which remains in effect through the end of 2018. Countries outside of the agreement, such as the U.S., have seen production grow as global demand has grown, enabling these countries to export more oil while OPEC and its allies reduce production.
Motorists can find current gas prices at GasPrices.AAA.com.
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.