Gas prices plunge as regional supply builds


News Journal



Gas prices in South Central Ohio are 11 cents less expensive this week at $2.741 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

For the first time in weeks, every Great Lakes and Central state is seeing gas prices decline, with some pump prices declining by double-digits. Six states top the list of the largest decreases in the country, including Ohio (-14 cents).

A factor helping to drive down gas prices is the increase of nearly 600,000 barrels of gasoline inventories amid declining demand. With the build, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data measures levels at 52 million barrels once again, which, despite being a low inventory level for the region this year, is a 2.4 million year-over-year surplus. If inventories continue to increase, prices are likely to continue to decrease.

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.741

Average price during the week of Oct. 8, 2018 $2.849

Average price during the week of Oct. 16, 2017 $2.392

Nationally

Most states have seen gas prices decrease on the week except for a handful, some of which were impacted by fuel disruptions on the west coast and in the southeast. At $2.89, the national gas price average is two-cents cheaper than a week ago.

Today’s gas price average is four-cents more than a month ago and 42-cents more expensive than a year ago. Gas prices may be signaling that they are taking a turn toward slowly decreasing amid consumer demand declining for a third week.

Two events last week caused small spikes in retail prices, but those spikes were short-lived. On Wednesday, October 12, Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida and subsequently caused retail fuel shortages along its path in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Roadway clean-up efforts are underway and as power is restored, fuel deliveries will be a priority.

In addition, last week, a natural gas pipeline rupture in the Western Canadian province of British Columbia forced three Pacific Northwest (PNW) Puget Sound refineries to shut production units. Those refineries are beginning to resume normal operations, but states in the PNW saw spikes in gas prices that will likely last into the week.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate increased 37 cents to settle at $71.34. Oil prices saw whiplash last week, falling in line with the major selloff that occurred for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Crude prices may continue to climb this week as tensions in the Middle East take center stage, while U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran’s energy sector continue to loom over the market.

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.

News Journal