Gas prices reverse recent trend


Gas prices have finally stopped a sustained fall and climbed in price as the national gas price average went up by 13 cents compared to one week ago, according to an American Automobile Association (AAA) news release and statistics.

The AAA news release said the rise in price was caused by refineries “as far south” as Texas and the Gulf Coast being forced to shut down temporarily due to the late December storms and freezing temperatures. It also said that the weather led holiday travelers to leave and fuel up their cars earlier to beat the weather, also leading to increased gasoline demand.

“The cost of gas will likely rise a bit more before this surge stalls due to less expensive oil and a return to seasonal driving patterns,” Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, said. “But 2022 will go down as a record year with a national annual average of $3.96. According to fuel expert Tom Kloza of OPIS, that’s 40 to 50 cents more than the previous peak years of 2011 through 2014.”

The release said new information from the Energy Information Administration said gas demand rose from 8.7 million barrels per day to 9.3 b/d while the total domestic gasoline stock fell by three million barrels (bbl) to 223 million bbl.

“At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $1.86 to settle at $80.26,” the AAA news release said. “A weaker dollar contributed to rising crude prices. Crude prices rose despite the EIA reporting that total domestic commercial crude stocks increased by 800,000 bbl to 419 million bbl. The increase signals that oil demand may be weakening amid ongoing market concerns that a recession or economic slowdown could occur this year. If economic growth falters, crude demand will likely drop alongside prices.”

AAA said Ohio had the 25th highest gas price of all of the states in the county plus Washington, D.C. The site said Ohio’s average price per gallon was $3.178 as of Wednesday. That is an increase from one week ago when the average price per gallon was $2.932, according to AAA. One month ago, the average price was $3.274.

The lowest area gas prices, according to GasBuddy on Wednesday, were:

* Chillicothe — The lowest price was $2.85 at multiple places.

* Greenfield — The lowest price was $2.89 at Marathon.

* Hillsboro — The lowest price was $2.82 at multiple places.

* Mount Orab — The lowest price was $2.99 at multiple places.

* Wilmington — The lowest price was $2.87 at Marathon.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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