Icy temperatures fuel spikes at the pump


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CINCINNATI — Motorists are filling up to some of the most expensive gas prices seen in over a year.

With the forced shutdown of Gulf Coast and some Midwest refineries due to last week’s winter weather, gasoline stocks have tightened and gas prices have skyrocketed.

On the week, 66% of state averages spiked by double digits (10-22 cents), driving the national average up by 13 cents to $2.63. That is the most expensive national average since October 2019.

“When close to 40% of U.S. crude production is offline because refineries are closed, there is going to be pain at the pump until operations resume,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokesperson. “The good news is the nearly two dozen impacted refiners are expected to restart operations this week, if they haven’t already. That means regular gasoline deliveries will resume and impacted stations will be re-fueled.”

Last week, refinery outages were reported in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kansas.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports gasoline stocks sit at 257 million bbl. Just 2 million bbl short of year-ago, stock levels are relatively healthy. That will allow ample supply to get to impacted areas. EIA’s latest demand measurement of 8.4 million b/d is the highest reported since early November of last year.

However, AAA expects that number to be lower in this Wednesday’s report as last week’s winter storm took motorists off the road.

Gas prices are likely to be volatile until crude production is back to normal levels. Motorists can expect these more expensive prices to stick around, but large spikes are likely to subside.

Quick stats

• The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Ohio (+22 cents), Arizona (+21 cents), Iowa (+19 cents), Minnesota (+18 cents), Georgia (+18 cents), Michigan (+17 cents), Wisconsin (+16 cents), Nebraska (+16 cents), Indiana (+16 cents) and Maryland (+15 cents).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($2.27), Louisiana ($2.31), Texas ($2.32), Arkansas ($2.35), Alabama ($2.35), Oklahoma ($2.36), Utah ($2.38), Missouri ($2.38), Tennessee ($2.40) and South Carolina ($2.42).

About AAA

AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 61 million members nationwide and nearly two and a half million members in Ohio. AAA — a non-stock, non-profit corporation — advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.

For more information, visit www.AAA.com.

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