In a change of pace for the region, five Great Lakes and Central region states saw gas price decreases on the week, including Ohio (-5 cents). For the other nine states in the region, gas price averages increased as much as four cents since last Monday.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that gasoline stocks drew by 415,000 barrels, dropping total regional levels to 51.8 million barrels. However, the EIA also reports that regional refinery utilization has increased from 86.5 percent to 92.4 percent indicating that the coming weeks could see increased production and stock levels. This could potentially help to keep gas prices stable.
This week's average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.683
Average price during the week of April 15, 2019 $2.777
Average price during the week of April 23, 2018 $2.728
The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.587 East Liverpool
$2.668 Washington Court House
On the National Front
With only a penny increase on the week, the national gas price average saw the smallest one-week jump since mid-February. For the last eight weeks, weekly jumps ranged anywhere between a nickel and a nearly a quarter. Thirty states saw pump prices increase or decrease by three cents or less, which helped keep the national average relatively steady.
While the slow-down in gas prices is a welcomed change by motorists, it could be temporary. Gasoline stocks nationwide continue to tighten, measuring below levels compared to the same time in the past three years. While imports are helping and West Coast refinery maintenance is nearly finished for the time being, it’s too early to know exactly how much these factors will steady prices, especially as the summer driving season approaches.
Due to Good Friday observance, markets were closed, but at the end of Thursday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate increased 24 cents to settle at $64.00. EIA data released last week reported total U.S. crude oil stockpiles dropped by 1.4 million barrels to 455.2 million. Crude imports to the U.S. also slowed: the most recent week's import rate of 5.992 million b/d is almost 2 million b/d lower than the same week last year. EIA also reported that total U.S. gasoline inventories dropped by 1.2 million barrels.
Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.