CINCINNATI, OH – (February 12, 2018) – Love is in the air and at the pump for tri-state motorists this week as Ohio is selling the cheapest gas in the region and the 7th cheapest in the country. The price for regular gas dropped eight cents to $2.37 a gallon over the week landing the state on AAA’s Top Ten Largest Weekly Changes in Gas Prices List.
“Motorist filling up in the Midwest are certainly feeling the love this week when it comes to lower gas prices,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “While gas price averages are less expensive for 78 percent of states compared to last Monday, it is too early to know if this decline is the start of a cheaper gas price trend.”
Compared to one month ago, Michigan (-16 cents), Ohio (-13 cents), Illinois (-12 cents), Indiana (-11 cents) and Kentucky (-5 cents) are five of only six states in the country that are paying less at the pump.
Locally, gas prices in the Cincinnati area are averaging at $2.40 for regular gas, eight cents down from last week and 15 cents less than a month ago.
National Gas Price Decreases for First Time This Year
At $2.58, the national gas price average has decreased for the first time week-over-week this year. Today’s price is three cent less than last week, six cents more than a month ago and 30 cents more than a year ago. Motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 53 percent of gas stations across the country.
Consumer gasoline demand and gasoline inventories increased according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports. Hitting its highest level this year, gasoline demand registered at 9.1 million b/d, a 169,000 b/d increase year-over year. Total U.S. gasoline inventories built by 3.4 million bbl to total 245.5 million bbl, which sits about 1.4 million bbl above the five-year average.
- The largest weekly changes in the nation’s top ten markets are: Indiana (-14 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Kentucky (-9 cents), Ohio (-8 cents), Illinois (-6 cents), Utah (+6 cents), Hawaii (+5 cents), Missouri (-4 cents), Maryland (-4 cents) and Florida (+4 cents).
- The nation’s top ten most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($3.44), California ($3.35), Alaska ($3.04), Washington ($3.00), Oregon ($2.89), Pennsylvania ($2.86), Nevada ($2.78), Washington, D.C. ($2.77), New York ($2.76) and Connecticut ($2.74).
Oil Market Dynamics
- At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped by nearly $2 to settle at $59.20. Price gains made throughout January, which saw a closing high of $66.27, were wiped away after trading last week. Last week’s losses, which were buoyed by a strengthening dollar, may continue into this week after EIA’s latest weekly petroleum report revealed that U.S. crude production hit 10.25 million b/d – a new record weekly production rate.
- The continuing growth in U.S. crude oil production may give the market some pause as it continues to assess the long-term impact of OPEC’s production reduction agreement, which remains in effect through the end of 2018. On the other hand, OPEC’s latest forecast for oil demand projects that global oil demand will increase by 1.59 million b/d. The estimate is an increase of 60,000 b/d from last year, which may help to drain growing oil exports from the U.S.
- A sign of potentially explosive growth in U.S. crude production, the latest Baker Hughes, Inc. report found the active oil rig count in the U.S. grew by 26 new rigs last week to total at 791. This is the highest number of active rigs since April 2015, and it will likely push production to even higher levels later this year.
AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.