Gas prices in South Central Ohio are nearly six cents more expensive this week at $2.270 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
Gas prices are 4 to 16 cents more expensive on the week across the Great Lakes and Central states mostly due to ongoing refinery maintenance and tightening inventory. Eleven states in the region have averages that are a nickel or more expensive since last week, including Ohio (+6 cents).
Regional inventories shrunk by 3.2 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), to total at 58.6 million barrels. This is the second lowest inventory level of the year. This, in addition to regional refinery utilization decreasing by 9 percent, are pushing gas prices higher.
This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.270
Average price during the week of Feb. 11, 2019 $2.214
Average price during the week of Feb. 20, 2018 $2.304
On the week, 28 states saw gas price averages increase by at least a nickel, pushing the national gas price average up six-cents to land at $2.33. That is the largest one-week increase seen at the national level this year. Today’s gas price average is nine-cents more expensive than last month, but 19-cents cheaper than a year ago.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate increased $1.18 to settle at $55.59 – the highest price point of the year. This, coupled with ongoing refinery problems, is driving up gas prices for motorists nationwide.
The latest EIA weekly report details demand dropping for a second week to total at 8.6 million b/d. Frigid and severe winter weather has been a driving factor for declining demand, and this week’s approaching storm from the Plains to the Northeast has the potential to drop demand further.
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.