The average price of gasoline across South Central Ohio is seven cents lower this week at $2.987 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.987
Average price during the week of September 7, 2021 $3.050
Average price during the week of September 14, 2020 $2.066
The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$3.027 East Liverpool
$2.962 Washington Court House
With the height of summer in the rearview mirror, motorists are seeing some relief at the pump, as the national gas price average dropped by a penny on the week to $3.17. However, the recovery from Hurricane Ida remains slow, with the latest U.S. data showing just under half of the U.S. offshore oil production in the Gulf still idle after companies shuttered production ahead of the storm.
Meanwhile, refinery utilization is down almost 10%, causing gasoline stock levels to fall by 7.2 million barrels to 220 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Stock levels are likely to remain tight until Ida-affected refineries resume normal operations. While refineries are reporting progress towards restarting, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said it would release an additional 1.5 million barrels of crude oil held at the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to help ease tightened supplies brought by Hurricane Ida. This is the second such release, and the DOE said the SPR has now released a total of 3.3 million barrels of crude oil in response to the storm.
The constraint on stocks would typically lead to higher prices, but it has been offset by decreased demand going into the fall. In the week ahead, pump prices may be impacted by Tropical Storm Nicholas, which is expected to bring heavy rains and a storm surge to the Texas coast this week. If the tropical storm puts additional refineries offline, we are likely to see prices increase.
Timing is everything, and while supplies have tightened due to the slow recovery after Hurricane Ida, this is also the point when gas demand usually starts its seasonal decline. While there may be some price fluctuation, most motorists should begin to see stability at the pump.
Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.
AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 72 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.