The price of gas had dropped, according to a Monday news release from the American Automobile Association (AAA). The release said this slow fall comes in opposition to a “rebound” in oil prices because of fears of a possible shutdown from the COVID-19 omicron variant.
“Gas prices tend to fall a bit this time of year due to the shorter days and less robust demand,” Andrew Gross, a AAA spokesperson, said. “And this trend was assisted by the recent steep drop in oil prices due to fears over the omicron variant. But the variant’s impact on pricing appears to be fading, so it remains to be seen if oil prices stabilize or move higher.”
The release said new information from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that its total domestic gasoline stocks increased by almost four million barrels (bbl) to 219,304 million barrels last week. It also said gasoline demand rose from 8.8 million barrels per day (b/d) to 8.9 b/d.
“At the close of last week’s formal trading session, [West Texas Intermediate crude] increased 73 cents to settle at $71.67,” the AAA news release said. “Crude prices increased slightly after EIA’s weekly report showed that total domestic crude inventories decreased by 200,000 bbl to 432.9 million bbl. The current storage level is approximately 14 percent lower than last year’s storage level at this time, which is helping to keep crude prices elevated. Additionally, prices rebounded last week as optimism increased that the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus will not have as large an impact on global energy demand as initially feared. For this week, continued optimism could help crude prices continue to rise.”
AAA said Ohio had the 38th highest gas price of all the states in the country plus Washington, D.C. The site said Ohio’s average price per gallon was $3.090 as of Dec. 14. That is a decrease from one week ago when the price per gallon was $3.127, according to AAA. One month ago, the average price was $3.266.
The lowest area gas prices, according to GasBuddy on Dec. 14, were:
* Chillicothe — The lowest price was $2.94 at Murphy USA.
* Greenfield — The lowest price was $2.95 at Clark.
* Hillsboro — The lowest price was $2.89 at multiple places.
* Mount Orab — The lowest price was $2.99 at Kroger.
* Wilmington — The lowest price was $3.17 at multiple places.
In other news, AAA said that 109 million people were planned to travel 50 miles or more when they drive, fly or go another way between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2. AAA said that this would be an almost 34 percent increase from 2020. The release said that this increase makes 2021’s travel population about 92 percent of 2019’s total.
“Americans who canceled their vacations in 2020 want to gather with family and friends for the holidays this year, although they will still be mindful of the pandemic and the new omicron variant,” Paula Twidale, senior vice president for AAA Travel, said in the news release. “With vaccines widely available, conditions are much different and many people feel a greater level of comfort with travel.”
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.