CINCINNATI, Oh. –September 24, 2018--As many states are welcoming cheaper or stable gas prices at the start of the workweek, the same cannot be said for those in the Great Lakes and Central region. State gas price averages continue to trend more expensive due to planned and unplanned maintenance at half a dozen refineries in the region.
In fact, total inventory in the Great Lakes and Central region sits at 52.3 million bbl according to the EIA. Despite being on par with levels this time last year, the 52 million mark is one of the lowest levels seen since Memorial Day Weekend this year. The low inventory is a contributing factor for the increasing gas prices.
The current average price for regular gas in the Cincinnati area is $2.92 which is 12-cents higher than last week and 70-cents higher than this time last year.
“Due to refinery maintenance, Cincinnati drivers are paying the most on average for regular gas among Ohio metro areas,” says Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “While we expect prices to drop at the conclusion of the seasonal maintenance, outliers such as crude oil market volatility and geopolitical issues could delay a decrease in prices this fall.”
Despite similar year-over-year inventory levels, some motorists in the region are paying in the neighborhood of 50-cents more to fill up compared to last September: Indiana (+58 cents), Ohio (+53 cents), Illinois (+49 cents) and Michigan (+46 cents).
While the national gas price has remained stable throughout September, the price of crude oil started to increase in the last week.
“Crude oil prices pushed past $70/bbl for three days last week,” continued Moore. “If they trend above this level for a sustained amount of time, we could see a trend reversal in pump prices meaning it may cost more to fill-up as we get closer to the end of the year.”
- The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.53), Mississippi ($2.53), Louisiana ($2.57), South Carolina ($2.58), Tennessee ($2.58), Arkansas ($2.59), Texas ($2.59), Virginia ($2.61), Missouri ($2.61) and North Carolina ($2.68).
- The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Delaware (-8 cents), Kentucky (+6 cents), Michigan (-5 cents), North Dakota (+5 cents), Oklahoma (+5 cents), Indiana (+5 cents), Iowa (+5 cents), Minnesota (+5 cents), Illinois (+4 cents) and Nebraska (+4 cents).
AAA offers these tips to motorists to save at the pump:
- If your vehicle’s engine does not require premium or mid-grade fuel, don’t buy it. Using anything other than regular grade is simply a waste of money.
- Don’t top off your gas tank. Stop filling after the automatic nozzle shuts off the second time.
- If you have to replace a gas cap, make sure it is the right one for your car. An ill-fitting cap will increase emissions and trigger the “check engine” light.
- Keep track of gas mileage. If you notice a sudden decrease in fuel economy, have your vehicle checked by a technician to ensure it is operating properly.
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 59 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 for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.