Area gas prices rise, bucking nationwide trend


News Journal



Gas prices in South Central Ohio are four cents more expensive this week at $2.663 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

Except in Ohio (+8 cents) and Michigan, state gas price averages in the Great Lakes and Central region continue downward. The pump prices in Ohio and Michigan are atypical of the nationwide-trend this week and likely due to the general fluctuations seen in this region from time-to-time.

Gas prices are pushing cheaper as regional refinery utilization rates are climbing, signaling refinery maintenance season is starting to wrap-up and gasoline stocks could build. However, the region’s large draw of 1.9 million barrels could mean prices may jump early on this week. At 49.8 million barrels in total, stocks sit at their lowest level in 54-weeks. While low, the region typically sees stocks at this or lower levels around year-end, according to EIA data.

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.663

Average price during the week of Oct. 22, 2018 $2.625

Average price during the week of Oct. 30, 2017 $2.456

Nationally

The national gas price average has been dropping slowly and steadily for the past 16 days. At $2.82, it’s the lowest since mid-September.

The last few weeks saw peak refinery maintenance season start to wrap-up and push less expensive gas prices – but the lower prices may not be a long-term trend. AAA expects gas prices will likely increase as early as later this week ahead of the Nov. 4 Iran sanctions announcement and the mid-term elections.

How expensive gas prices may be remains to be seen. However, motorists are not likely to pay summer prices this winter.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate increased 26 cents to settle at $67.59. Crude prices ended last week with mostly losses, following release of EIA’s weekly petroleum report that showed crude inventories increased for the fifth consecutive week. Domestic crude inventories gained 6.3 million barrels to total 422.8 million – a level not seen since the beginning of the driving season in June.

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