A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky sees one of the largest weekly gas price increases in the nation at 13 cents per gallon

Despite fewer U.S. drivers fueling up, the national average pump price rose four cents over the past week to hit $3.80.

Rising oil prices fueled by worries over Russian oil production cuts have renewed concerns about global supplies. Kentucky’s average for a gallon of regular rose 13 cents in the past week to land at $3.50, one of the steepest increases in the nation over the past week.

But the rise could be short-lived as reports of new COVID-19 restrictions in China signal a potential economic slowdown for the world’s top oil-consuming nation.

“The oil market, like the stock market, hates negative headlines, no matter how speculative,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, public affairs manager, AAA Blue Grass. “And that is why we see the oil price back over $90 a barrel. More expensive oil usually leads to more expensive gasoline, but the recent Covid-related news from China may curb this increase.”

NKyTribune file)

According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand dipped slightly from 8.93 million b/d to 8.66 million b/d last week, and total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 1.3 million bbl to 206.6 million bbl. Tighter supply and fluctuating oil prices have put upward pressure on gasoline prices. Pump prices could increase if supply remains tight alongside rising oil prices.

The national average of $3.80 is 9 cents less than a month ago, but 38 cents more than a year ago.

Kentucky’s average for a gallon of regular is now $3.50, steady overnight, 13 cents higher on the week and 2 cents higher compared to a month ago. A year ago, the average in Kentucky was $3.12.

Lexington’s average is now at $3.37, steady overnight, down 5 cents from a week ago and 6 cents lower than a month ago. A year ago, the Lexington average was $3.07.

In northern Kentucky, Covington is at $3.89, up a penny overnight, a full 25 cents higher on the week and 5 cents higher on the month. A year ago, Covington was at $3.20.

In Eastern Kentucky, motorists in Morehead are seeing the gas price average $3.51, which is stable overnight but 3 cents lower on the week and 8 cents lower than a month ago. A year ago, the average price in Morehead was $3.15.

Pikeville is at $3.39 today, up a penny overnight, soaring 20 cents higher on the week but just a penny higher on the month. A year ago, the average in Pikeville was $3.09. Ashland is at $3.40 today, steady overnight and also steady on the week, but 2 cents lower on the month. A year ago, the price in Ashland was $3.12.

Around the commonwealth, the highest gas prices tend to be primarily in the northern and eastern tier of counties, with a few exceptions. The highest county-level average gas price today is in Owen County at $3.99, followed by Grant at $3.98. The cheapest spot for gas in the commonwealth today can be found in Bell County at $3.04.

Checking nearby, the average price for a gallon of regular today (and change compared to last week) in Ohio is at $3.86 (+0.21), West Virginia $3.60 (+0.05), Virginia $3.52 (-0.02), Tennessee $3.28 (-0.04), Indiana $4.19 (+0.38), Illinois $4.31 (+0.17) and Missouri $3.36 (+0.01).

Across the nation, the high spot remains California at $5.45 after an 11-cent drop on the week. The lowest state-level price average can be found in Georgia at $3.12.

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes: Indiana (+37 cents), Wisconsin (+31 cents), Michigan (+27 cents), Ohio (+21 cents), Illinois (+17 cents), Florida (+16 cents), Oregon (−13 cents), Kentucky (+13 cents), California (−11 cents) and Delaware (+10 cents).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Georgia ($3.12), Texas ($3.17), Mississippi ($3.20), Arkansas ($3.24), Louisiana ($3.26), Tennessee ($3.28), South Carolina ($3.28), Alabama ($3.30), North Carolina ($3.36) and Missouri ($3.36).

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate increased by $4.44 to settle at $92.61. Crude prices spiked at the end of last week after the dollar dropped in value. Moreover, the price of oil rose after the EIA reported that total domestic crude stocks had declined by 3.1 million bbl. However, for this week, crude oil prices could face headwinds if market concerns regarding the likelihood of a recession persist. If economic growth stalls or reverses course, crude demand is likely to follow suit alongside prices.

AAA Blue Grass

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