The average price of gasoline across South Central Ohio is two cents cheaper this week at $2.700 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.700
Average price during the week of March 1, 2021 $2.727
Average price during the week of March 10, 2020 $2.261
The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.766 East Liverpool
$2.764 Washington Court House
With a nickel increase on the week, the national gas price average has reached $2.77, which is a 31-cent jump in the last month. Every state average has climbed by double-digits since February, resulting in 1 in 10 gas stations with pump prices that are $3/gallon or more.
Pump prices are increasing as refinery utilization is at an all-time low and crude oil prices (WTI) surged by more than $2/bbl to $66/bbl on Friday, the highest price in nearly two years. The jump in crude followed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ and their allies’, collectively known as OPEC+, surprise decision to minimally increase production in April.
The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report for the week ending February 26 shows refinery capacity at 56%, which is the lowest rate recorded by the agency. It is also 12 percentage points below last week and 18 percentage points lower than a year ago. EIA data also point to a decrease in gasoline stocks to 243.4 million barrels, which is 3.5% below levels at the end of February 2020.
With refinery utilization at a record low, gasoline supplies tightening, demand modestly increasing, and crude prices on the rise, prices are likely to remain this high. Today’s national average is nearly 40 cents more expensive compared to a year ago, which was right before state lockdowns and working/school from home started.