Gas prices in South Central Ohio fell by nearly nine cents to $2.645 per gallon this week, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
A few of the states in the Great Lakes and Central region land on this week’s top 10 states with the biggest decreases in pump prices, including Ohio with an 8-cent decrease. However, most states saw increases.
Gasoline inventories in the region have declined steadily for eight weeks, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. With the latest draw of 340,000 barrels, total inventories sit at 56.2 million, which is on par with levels in April 2017.
Monday’s average prices for South Central Ohio was $2.645. The average price a week ago was $2.732. The average price per gallon for South Central Ohio a year ago was $2.198.
The lowest average price per gallon in the region on Monday was $2.553 in Hillsboro and $2.570 in Chillicothe. The highest average price per gallon in the region on Monday was $2.779 in Athens, $2.703 in Waverly and $2.702 in Washington Court House. The average price per gallon reported for Portsmouth was $2.613.
On the National Front
At $2.81, the national gas price average is 45 cents more expensive than a year ago. However, after weeks of increases, the national average held steady, and 19 state averages remained flat or saw decreases. Prices could continue to rise as the summer driving season approaches, unofficially kicking off Memorial Day weekend.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate increased $1.29 cents to settle at $69.72 – a new high for the year. EIA’s weekly petroleum status report noted that U.S. crude production hit another record high at 10.62 million barrels-per-day. The growth in production occurred alongside growth in crude inventories, which grew by 6.2 million barrels last week. At 436 million, inventories are nearly 92 million barrels lower than they were at this time last year.
Domestic crude production will likely see continued growth through 2018 – supported by a steady increase in active oil rigs. Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that last week, the U.S. added nine rigs, placing the total at 834. The total rig count is now 131 more than the figure at the same time last year.
Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.