A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Gas prices rise nationwide to highest levels since 2014; Kentucky sees penny decrease on the week

The average price of gas across the country rose two cents this week to $3.20, a level not seen since October 2014. The probable causes for the increase are the high price of crude oil — staying above $73 a barrel — and a slight uptick in demand.

“Global economic uncertainty and supply chain concerns caused by the lingering COVID-19 pandemic could be playing a role in keeping crude oil prices elevated,” says Lori Weaver Hawkins, public and government affairs manager, AAA Blue Grass. “But, there may be some relief on the horizon due to the news that OPEC and its allies might ramp up production increases faster than previously agreed.”

(NKyTribune file)

In Kentucky, the price of gas is down about a penny on the week to $2.92. The price was $2.93 a week ago, $2.94 a month ago and $2.02 a year ago.

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks increased slightly by 200,000 barrels to 221.8 million barrels last week. Gasoline demand also rose from 8.90 million to 9.4 million barrels a day, more than a five percent increase. However, according to the EIA, oil and natural gas production was lower than pre-pandemic levels during the same quarter in 2019. This tightened supply is helping keep crude prices above $73 per barrel and preventing pump prices from taking their usual seasonal swoon.

The national average of $3.20 is two cents more than a month ago and is $1.02 more than a year ago.

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Ohio (+11 cents), Arizona (+7 cents), North Carolina (+6 cents), Illinois (+6 cents), Missouri (+4 cents), Washington, D.C. (+3 cents), Kansas (+3 cents), Virginia (+3 cents), West Virginia (+3 cents) and Iowa (+2 cents).

The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($4.40), Hawaii ($4.08), Nevada ($3.89), Washington ($3.84), Idaho ($3.73), Oregon ($3.72), Utah ($3.72), Alaska ($3.69), Colorado ($3.53) and Wyoming ($3.50).

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 85 cents to settle at $75.88. Crude prices increased on the week due to a stronger dollar and despite EIA’s recent report showing that total domestic crude inventories increased by 4.5 million bbl to 418.5 million bbl.

For this week, prices could decline if OPEC+, which comprises the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and their allies, moves forward with an agreement to produce an additional 400,000 barrels per day in November. The collective previously decided in July to boost crude output by 400,000 b/d each month until at least April 2022 in a push to phase out 5.8 million b/d of existing production cuts. OPEC+ is meeting Monday via videoconference. The proposed increase would be in addition to the July boost.

AAA Blue Grass

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