Gas prices are fluctuating across the Great Lakes and Central region states with Ohio (+6 cents) and Kentucky (-3 cents) seeing the biggest increase and decline on the week. Most states saw prices shift by just a penny, or hold steady.
Amid refinery issues, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports the region saw utilization drop from 91.8 to 85.9 percent. Despite this, stocks increased marginally by 200,000 barrels to total 50.7 million and the region saw only moderate fluctuation. If utilization falls further, motorists in the region can expect gas prices to increase, especially as the summer driving season approaches and stocks sit at a nearly 6-million-deficit compared to the same time last year.
This week's average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.788
Average price during the week of April 29, 2019 $2.743
Average price during the week of May 7, 2018 $2.645
The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.635 East Liverpool
$2.852 Washington Court House
On the National Front
With the national gas price average at $2.89 – just a penny more expensive than last week – most states are seeing moderate ups and downs at the pump. Twenty-seven states saw gas prices decrease or hold steady on the week, with Delaware (-4 cents), Kentucky (-3 cents) and North Carolina (-3 cents) seeing the largest declines.
While gasoline demand remains robust, gasoline inventories built for the first time since early February, which contributed toward the national average only increasing by a penny. Today’s average is just eight cents cheaper than the highest pump price of 2018, which was set going into Memorial Day.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate increased slightly to settle at $61.94. Although prices inched up on Friday, crude saw losses last week after new concerns about U.S. oversupply emerged. The EIA's weekly petroleum report revealed that domestic crude inventories jumped significantly last week by 10 million barrels. They now sit at 470.6 million barrels, which is nearly 35 million more than the level last year at this time. Crude inventories have not been this high since September 2017, according to the EIA’s data. An all-time record high domestic crude production last week contributed to the substantial growth in U.S. stocks, which likely also was a reason crude oil saw losses on the NYMEX last week. Market observers will look toward EIA’s weekly report this week to see if the growth in crude stocks continues ahead of summer.
Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.