Gas prices in South Central Ohio are about a penny cheaper this week at $2.789 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
Refinery maintenance across the Great Lakes and Central states continues to contribute to higher gas prices in parts of the region. Refinery utilization dropped to 83 percent, which is the lowest rate since April 2016.
However, Ohio was unaffected by maintenance, with a statewide average that is six cents lower on the week. Once refineries wrap-up maintenance, gas prices in the region are expected to ease further, though maintenance could last through November.
This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.801
Average price during the week of Sept. 24, 2018 $2.762
Average price during the week of Oct. 2, 2017 $2.333
Despite gasoline demand dropping to 9.0 million b/d and inventories growing to 235.7 million barrels, according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, the national gas price average has increased three cents on the week to land at $2.88 – a pump price not seen at the national average since mid-July.
This time of year, motorists are accustomed to seeing prices drop steadily, but due to continued global supply and demand concerns as well as very expensive summertime crude oil prices, motorists are not currently seeing much relief at the pump yet.
Today’s national gas price average ($2.88) is the most expensive for the beginning of October since 2014. The average is four cents more than a month ago and 32 cents more than a year ago.
Crude prices rallied last week due to concerns around the impact of U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran and economic collapse in Venezuela on global crude supply this fall.
The increase in crude prices occurred despite inventories increasing to 396 million barrels last week after five consecutive weeks of decline, according to EIA’s report for the week ending on September 21. Domestic crude inventories are now roughly 75 million barrels lower than were they were at this time last year.
Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.
AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 80 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members.