AAA: Ohio gas prices continue to climb


Staff report



After increasing by 20 cents last week, the average price of gasoline across South Central Ohio is another six cents higher this week at $2.727 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.727

Average price during the week of February 22, 2021, $2.661

Average price during the week of March 3, 2020, $2.328

The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:

$2.745 Athens

$2.768 Chillicothe

$2.599 Columbiana

$2.656 East Liverpool

$2.779 Gallipolis

$2.761 Hillsboro

$2.599 Ironton

$2.795 Jackson

$2.773 Logan

$2.781 Marietta

$2.620 Portsmouth

$2.753 Steubenville

$2.788 Washington Court House

$2.757 Waverly

Gas prices continue to increase, with the national average up nine cents on the week to $2.72. That is a 30 cent increase from the beginning of February, 28 cents more than a year ago and the most expensive daily national average since August 2019.

The latest price jumps are a direct result of February’s winter storm that took 26 U.S. refineries offline and pushed refinery utilization from an average of about 83% down to an atypical low of 68%, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its latest data, EIA also reported demand at 7.2 million barrels per day. Both utilization and demand rates have not been reported this low since last May.

AAA forecasts the national gas price average to increase in March. However, if refineries resume normal operations, and if crude oil prices show signs of stability, motorists may see some relief at the pump towards the end of the month.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate decreased by $2.03 to settle at $61.50. Crude prices rose mid-week despite the EIA’s latest report revealing that total domestic crude inventories increased by 1.3 million barrels last week, bringing the supply level to 463 million barrels. For this week, crude prices could rise if the EIA’s next weekly report shows a decrease in total stocks.

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Staff report