Western PA Gas Prices Inch Upward, Nationwide Demand Remains Strong

Pennsylvania, Gas Prices
Choosing gas octane by Mike Mozart
Photo by Mike Mozart https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/ creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/  

Gas prices in Western Pennsylvania increased by about a penny this week to $2.785 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report. 

Motorists are paying more in every Mid-Atlantic and Northeast state, except for Rhode Island ($2.55) where prices are one cent cheaper.  With the increases, Pennsylvania ($2.80) and Washington, D.C. ($2.75) sell the most expensive gas in the region and among the most expensive in the country.  At $2.55, Massachusetts and Rhode Island sell the least expensive gasoline.

The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region had the largest build of all regions in gasoline inventories on the week.  According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the region added 3.2 million barrels, totaling inventories at 61.4 million barrels. Despite the build, inventories sit at nearly 6 million barrels below levels this time last year, yet 1.7 million barrels more than the start of 2016.

This week’s average prices: Western Pennsylvania Average: $2.785
Average price during the week of January 8, 2018:  $2.779
Average price during the week of January 17, 2017: $2.641

The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:      

$2.782      Altoona
$2.814      Beaver
$2.787      Bradford
$2.780      Brookville
$2.802      Butler
$2.755      Clarion
$2.795      Du Bois
$2.760      Erie
$2.792      Greensburg
$2.799      Indiana
$2.828      Jeannette
$2.800      Kittanning
$2.771      Latrobe
$2.791      Meadville
$2.818      Mercer
$2.742      New Castle
$2.791      New Kensington
$2.802      Pittsburgh
$2.782      Sharon
$2.704      Uniontown
$2.807      Warren
$2.762      Washington


On the National Front
Gas prices jumped four cents on the week, landing today’s national average at $2.53.  According to the EIA, gasoline demand increased by 164,000 barrels on the week to register at 8.8 million.  The demand measurement is the highest for the first EIA report of January since 2011, and is a contributing factor to this week’s higher pump prices.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate increased 50 cents to settle at $64.30.  Oil prices edged higher last week following the release of EIA’s report for the first week of 2018, which revealed that domestic crude oil production dropped by 290,000 barrels-per-day.  The decline is the largest U.S. production drop since the highly active hurricane season ended in mid-October last year.  Moreover, crude inventories around the country dropped by 4.9-million bbl.

Some market observers are encouraged that oil prices will continue to climb as production slows and inventories grow tighter.  However, the drop in production may be short-lived.  Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that last week, the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. grew by 10, bringing the total number of rigs to 752.  The oil produced by these rigs may help the U.S. reach a new crude production level of 10 million b/d later this year, as speculated by many market observers.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 81 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members.  News releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

For More Information, Contact:
Jim Garrity, Public & Community Relations Manager
Desk: 412-365-7274 / Cell: 412-905-9021 / Email: Garrity.James@aaaec.com

-AAA-