South Central Ohio gas prices up as crude prices drive up national average

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Gas prices in South Central Ohio are six cents more expensive this week at $2.849 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

Gas prices are more expensive for almost every state in the Great Lakes and Central region this week, with three states landing on this week’s biggest changes list, including Ohio (+9 cents), Kentucky (+8 cents). Regional refinery maintenance and expensive crude oil prices are two major factors contributing to the increase.

Gasoline inventories dipped by 661,000 barrels, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, dropping total inventories to 51.5 million. Levels sit at one of the lowest for the region this year, but are comparable to this time last year. If inventories continue to decline, prices will likely continue to increase.

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.849

Average price during the week of Oct. 1, 2018$2.789

Average price during the week of Oct. 9, 2017$2.292

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

$2.858Athens

$2.772Chillicothe

$2.779Columbiana

$2.749East Liverpool

$2.938Gallipolis

$2.888Hillsboro

$2.930Ironton

$2.952Jackson

$2.771Logan

$2.808Marietta

$2.876Portsmouth

$2.768Steubenville

$2.891Washington Court House

$2.899Waverly

On the National Front

The national gas price average increased three-cents on the week to $2.91, with all but seven states paying more. Today’s national gas price average is six-cents more than a month ago and 41-cents more than a year ago. The September switch-over to winter-blend gasoline ushered in cheaper gas prices compared to the summer, but the drop was short lived.

Crude oil accounts for much of the retail pump price, and crude is currently selling at some of the highest price points in four years amid concerns of global crude supply and geopolitical tensions. As a result, fall gas prices have not been this expensive since 2014. At that time, motorists were paying on average more than $3/gal and crude oil was selling well above $70/barrel. This year, despite inventory increasing over the week, crude oil is selling at $25 or more per barrel than last year. Today, the price for a barrel of oil is hovering around $74.

With gas prices taking an unseasonable turn, AAA offers the following tips for conserving fuel:

Accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts.

Slow down. If you travel at 60 mph instead of 70 mph on a 20-mile highway commute, you would save about 1.3 gallons of gas in a five-day work week.

Anticipate your stops. When approaching a red light, let your foot off the gas as early as possible.

Carpool or use public transit. Also consider combining errands to cut down on amount of time on the road.

Avoid long warm-ups in the morning. They’re unnecessary and waste fuel.

Maintain recommended tire pressure. Low pressure reduces fuel economy and can damage tires.

Keep the air filter clean. Clogged filters reduce fuel economy and increase exhaust emissions.

This article provided by NewsEdge.