Northeast Ohio Gas Prices Hold Steady
Gas price fluctuation takes a holiday for Northeast Ohio motorists as gas prices decreased by only a fraction of a cent this week to $2.077 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
On the National Front
National gas prices have increased fractions of a penny to reach today’s average price for regular unleaded gasoline, which is $2.28 per gallon. Today’s average is the same as one week ago, five cents less compared to one month ago and 56 cents more than the same date last year. Prices continue to remain flat due to lower driving demand and an oversupplied market as a result of increased U.S. production. As refinery maintenance season begins and driving demand increases, we could expect to see some of the gasoline supply in the U.S. soaked up.
The Great Lakes and Central States continue to be the most volatile regions in the country for gas prices with four states landing on the top 10 list of largest weekly changes: Indiana (+5 cents), Michigan (-3 cents), Kentucky (-3 cents) and Ohio (-2 cents).
Several refineries in the Great Lakes and Central regions have cut production rates this week due to planned and unplanned maintenance. OPIS reported that Phillips 66’s 330,000-b/d Wood River refinery located in Roxana, Illinois, had a problem with an oil processing unit Tuesday reducing oil production.
Markets opened Tuesday morning reporting gains after OPEC reiterated its commitment to cut production. OPEC’s most recent Monthly Oil Market Report stated that participating countries successfully implemented 90 percent of the agreed production cuts. Last November, OPEC and non-OPEC countries agreed to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day for six months starting in 2017 and have since hinted at the possibility of extending those cuts further. The impact the OPEC agreement has on the market will depend on the rate at which the participating countries comply with production cuts.
At this time U.S. oil production is up and so are crude oil inventories so retail prices have remained fairly steady. This could all change if OPEC maintains its high level of compliance and refinery maintenance season eats into U.S. supply as driving demand increases. Traders will continue to keep a close eye on OPEC compliance and U.S. supply and production. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate was up 4 cents to settle at $53.40 per barrel.