Gas prices in South Central Ohio have leveled off with the unofficial start of summer, with the average price per gallon at $2.877, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
Several states across the Great Lakes and Central states have seen large jumps over the week, while others have seen only slight increases (Ohio, +1 cent). Plunging 1.7 million barrels, gasoline inventories in the Great Lakes and Central states sit at their lowest levels of the year (52.6 million barrels). According to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, this past January was the last time the region saw inventories under 53 million.
Tuesday’s average price per gallon in South Central Ohio was $2.877. The average price a week ago was $2.876. The average price per gallon a year ago was $2.272.
In South Central and Southeast Ohio, the highest average price per gallon of unleaded self-serve gasoline was $2.982 in Ironton, $2.968 in Gallipolis, $2.927 in Steubenville and $2.922 in Washington Court House. The lowest average price per gallon was $2.788 in Columbiana, $2.802 in East Liverpool and $2.805 in Chillicothe. The average price per gallon reported for Portsmouth was $2.850.
On the National Front
Over the long holiday weekend, the national gas price average has held steady for five days at $2.97, signaling that prices may be stabilizing as we head into June. This development comes as crude oil prices start to fall following some of the highest prices in three years. At the start of the holiday weekend, reports indicated that OPEC may raise production levels to help ease global supply concerns. This announcement immediately brought down the price of crude, which is welcome news to motorists who have not only seen pump prices increase, on average, 16 cents since the beginning of May, but are paying the highest prices to fill up since 2014.
Oil prices also declined after EIA’s weekly report showed that total crude inventories grew by 5.7 million barrels. A decrease in crude exports, an increase in imports and record-breaking crude production contributed to the inventory growth. The news was a surprise to the market, which expected to see inventories decline in the run-up to Memorial Day weekend. If the trend continues in the weeks to come, crude prices may continue to edge lower.
Gas prices, however, remain very expensive. On the week, three states have been added to the list of states with a gas price average of $3 or more – making for 17 states in total. Another four states are just pennies away from joining this list, including Indiana, Maryland, New Mexico and Massachusetts.
Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.