Gas prices in West Central Kentucky dropped by five cents this week to $2.131 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
After seeing gas price increases by double-digits last week, four states in the Great Lakes and Central states saw prices drop on the week, including Kentucky (-5 cents). On average, the region’s gas price is three cents less than one month ago. At 53 million barrels, stockpiles remained unchanged for the week and are close to a million barrels higher than a year ago.
This week’s average prices: Western Central KY Average $2.131
Average price during the week of July 10, 2017 $2.184
Average price during the week of July 18, 2016 $1.992
Average prices of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.076 Bowling Green
On the National Front
At $2.25, the national gas price average is just one cent cheaper than a week ago, five cents less than a month ago, and four cents more than a year ago. Nationwide, last week was close to all-time high levels and continues to keep pace with summer 2016 levels. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gasoline stocks are approximately 4 million barrels below this time last year.
After last week’s strong finish, West Texas Intermediate appears poised to continue making gains – opening near $47 per barrel today. The market has been trending upward slightly after EIA’s most recent weekly report showed that for the week ending on July 7, crude oil inventories dropped below 500 million barrels for the first time since late January. Moreover, total inventories of crude are just 4.4 million barrels more than last year, showing that the surplus is draining – albeit rather slowly. This news seems to have given the market some hope for the continuing decline of the glut of crude that has been suppressing prices this summer. Market observers will look at this week’s EIA report to see if the trend continues.
With U.S. oil production still growing and rising output from OPEC countries that are exempt from its production reduction agreement, OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the global oil market could be thwarted. An OPEC and non-OPEC committee meets in St. Petersburg, Russia on July 24 to discuss the status of the agreement and potential next steps to deepen its impact. As the rebalance waiting game continues, drivers are likely to continue benefitting at the pump with cheaper summer gas prices.