Gas prices in the northern counties of West Virginia jumped by almost six cents this week to $2.375 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Fuel Gauge Report.
On the National Front
National gas prices are increasing for the first time in four weeks, with today’s average at $2.36/gallon – two cents more than a week ago, six cents less than a month ago, but eight cents more than a year ago. The increases are likely the result of rising demand and crude oil prices. At least 36 states saw price increases on the week, with national gasoline inventories dropping by 400,000 barrels to 240.7 million.
AAA projects that more than 34 million Americans are planning to take a road trip this Memorial Day weekend– the highest level since 2005. The rise in road travel could pressure pump prices to continue to increase into the summer months, potentially returning to the higher national averages seen in April.
The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw gas prices fluctuate with increases up to four cents in some areas, including West Virginia (+3 cents), while other areas saw prices drop or remain stable. Compared to the previous week’s gain of 2.6 million barrels, this week’s addition of only 400,000 likely impacted the wide range in gasoline price changes (+4 cents to -1 cents) in the region. With this week’s growth, the region’s stocks are the second highest in the country at just above the 70 million bbl threshold, but not above the all-time high of 76 million bbl in mid-February.
After a strong finish to last week’s trading, crude made strong gains on Monday morning and stayed above $50 per barrel. The jump is due to a weaker dollar and comes ahead of OPEC’s meeting on Thursday in Austria to discuss extending the already agreed upon production cuts through the remainder of the year – and possibly through the first quarter of 2018. Only time will tell if OPEC’s actions will curtail growing inventories, especially as the U.S. continues to benefit from historic rates of exploration.
Unprecedented growth in the exploration sector will continue to put new oil in the production pipeline for refineries. If gas prices continue to increase, refiners will capitalize on the potential to expand profit margins and continue producing record amounts of gasoline. With Memorial Day around the corner, these dynamics and growing demand could lead to higher prices at the pump for road travelers.
This week’s average prices: West Virginia Average $2.375
Average price during the week of May 15, 2017 $2.320
Average price during the week of May 23, 2016 $2.345
The following is a list of the average prices in several West Virginia locations:
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. Past 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