The average price of gasoline across South Central Ohio is 11 cents higher this week at $2.709 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
Pump prices in the Great Lakes and Central states saw the highest volatility of any region following the drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend. Motorists in some states are paying nearly 20 cents more to fill-up as compared to last Monday (Ohio, +10 cents). State averages range between $2.82 – $2.40, with three states touting an average at $2.70 or above: Illinois ($2.82), Michigan ($2.73) and Ohio ($2.70).
As gasoline inventory decreases, upcoming refinery maintenance may present challenges in the region. Down to 96%, regional refinery production could slow as refineries undergo this planned maintenance to produce winter blend gasoline. The usual decrease in demand during the fall could help ease any major fluctuations at the pump from lower production, barring any outlying factors.
This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.709
Average price during the week of Sept. 16, 2019 $2.598
Average price during the week of Sept. 24, 2018 $2.801
The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.736 East Liverpool
$2.813 Washington Court House
On the National Front
Last week was the first time since early June that the national gas price average jumped by more than a nickel in under a few days. On the week, it’s a dime more expensive at $2.66 with half of states seeing prices increase by 10 cents or more. However, even with the significant increase, the national average is still cheaper compared to last month (-6 cents) and last year (-19 cents).
Spurred by the Saudi Arabian oil facilities attacks, crude oil (West Texas Intermediate – WTI) increased as much as $10/barrel at its highest point early last week to nearly $64/barrel. Wholesale gasoline distributors reacted by raising their prices by as much as a quarter, which pushed the national average up six cents overnight last Tuesday. However, by the end of last week, crude was down to $58/bbl and gas prices started to stabilize as reports surfaced that Saudi facilities should be fully operational by end of September.
Even with the downward movement with crude oil prices and stabilization at gas pumps, Americans can expect some fluctuation through the end of the month. Should Saudi’s crude production be back to full capacity by the end of the month, the currently pump increases are likely to be temporary.
In its latest report, the EIA measured U.S. demand at 8.9 million b/d, which is a substantial 900,000 b/d drop from the previous week and a low reading not seen since February. The decrease in demand could also help to keep gas price fluctuations more moderate through the end of the month.
Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.
AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 79 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.