Area gas prices drop

Bret Bevens, PDT Sports Writer

January 8, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Portsmouth motorists are finding their gasoline prices in about the middle of the pack in south central Ohio.

On average, gas prices in the region dropped some nine cents per gallon this week to an average of $3.265, and a sampling by AAA East Central shows the average price in Portsmouth is $3.267. Those prices compare with the national average of $3.30 per gallon. While this price is fractions of a penny more than one week ago, it is six cents cheaper than one month ago and seven cents less than one year ago.

A sampling of other cities in the region shows the lowest price of gas per gallon is in Hillsboro where the price is $3.214. Ironton is at $3.353, Jackson at $3.228 and Waverly $3.310.

According to the AAA Fuel Gauge, only 12 states and Washington, D.C. currently have an average price at the pump that is more expensive than one year ago. Not coincidentally, these are also the states where gasoline supplies and distribution were most heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy this fall. While the net impact of the hurricane was demand destruction, which contributed to a lower national average to end the year, tight supplies in the Northeast linger and continue to buoy prices in the region.

While retail gasoline prices are currently rising at a slower rate than to start 2012, the average is pressured higher by crude oil prices that have continued to slowly increase in recent weeks. At today’s close of formal trading on the NYMEX Monday, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $93.19 per barrel, up 10 cents on the day. This is the highest settlement price since Sept. 18, but is still well below the 2012 high of $109.77 per barrel on Feb. 24.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 80 local offices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and Kentucky servicing 2.5 million members.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com