Gas prices jump as demand sets record

Gas prices in South Central Ohio have increased by a dime to $2.728 per gallon this week, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

Across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region on the week, Ohio saw prices jump by a dime – one of the largest increases in gas price averages in the region and among the Top 10 in the country. With this week’s increases, gas price averages in the region are as much as 35 cents more expensive than this time last year.

Gasoline inventories remain above 57 million barrels, with the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reporting an 800,000 barrel decline on the week.

Monday’s average prices for south central Ohio was $2.728. The average price a week ago was $2.630. A year ago, the average price was $2.383.

The highest price per gallon of unleaded self-serve gasoline across south central Ohio was $2.798 in Athens and $2.792 in Ironton, while the lowest price per gallon was $2.606 in East Liverpool and $2.646 in Chillicothe. In Portsmouth, the average price per gallon was reported as $2.706.

On the national front

The EIA’s latest data registers consumer gasoline demand at 9.857 million barrels per day. That is the highest level ever on record for the month of April, and exceeds typical summer demand measurements. As demand skyrockets, gas prices increased across the country on the week, with five states seeing double-digit jumps. The national average ticked up a nickel to $2.76, and is 17 cents more expensive than last month and 34 cents more expensive than last year at this time.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) increased nine cents to settle at $68.38, which is the second highest close for WTI since Dec. 1, 2014.

There was a jump in price-per-barrel last week after Wednesday’s EIA weekly report revealed that crude inventories across the U.S. dropped by a combined 1.1 million barrels. They now sit at 427.6 million – nearly 105 million lower than in mid-April 2017. If EIA’s report this week reveals another inventory draw, crude prices are likely to continue climbing.

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