Gas prices hit 3-year high

Gas prices in South Central Ohio have increased by five cents to $2.630 per gallon this week, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

Gas prices are more expensive on the week across all states in the Great Lakes and Central region. The average gas price in the region is $2.60 (Ohio, $2.59).

Gasoline inventories remained relatively stable on the week in region, seeing a modest drop of 26,000 barrels. This marks the fifth week of inventory declines. However, at 58 million barrels in total, inventories are 2 million stronger than early April 2017.

Monday’s average prices in South Central Ohio averaged $2.63, while last week’s average price was listed at $2.58. A year ago, the average price for the second week of April was $2.33.

In southern Ohio, Gallipolis at $2.733 and Ironton at $2.728 were the highest reported averages, while the lowest average prices were in Hillsboro at $2.372. The average gasoline price in Portsmouth was $2.672, according to AAA.

On the National Front

At $2.71, gas prices are at their most expensive point in nearly three years and continue to climb. On the week, the national average increased a nickel. Motorists in six west coast states are paying more than $3 per gallon. Across the country, only 27 percent of gas stations are selling gas for $2.50 or less. Moreover, Monday’s gas price average is 18 cents more than a month ago and 30 cents more than a year ago.

Expensive crude oil prices, unrest in the Middle East and strong domestic demand are some of the factors that are driving gas prices higher.

In its latest report, EIA data for the week ending April 6 showed domestic crude production in the U.S. hit a new record high of 10.53 million barrels per day. The increased output led crude storage levels to grow by 3.3 million barrels to 428.6 million. With Baker Hughes, Inc. reporting that the U.S. added seven oil rigs last week – bringing the total to 815 – crude production in the U.S. is likely to continue growing.

Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide and countywide at