Gas prices in West Central Kentucky rose by nine cents this week to $2.258 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
Prices across the Great Lakes and Central States have seen significant movement over the past month. States in the region top the list of largest monthly increases, including Kentucky (+15 cents). The EIA’s latest report shows Midwest gasoline inventories dropped by 300,000 barrels, to 32 million bbl last week. Low inventory and high demand will likely result in continued increases over the coming weeks.
This week’s average prices: Western Central KY Average $2.258
Average price during the week of July 24, 2017 $2.164
Average price during the week of August 1, 2016 $1.942
Average prices of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.303 Bowling Green
On the National Front
Today’s national average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.32. The national average is at its highest price since June 15 and has now increased for 12 of the last 15 days. Pump prices in 47 states and Washington D.C. moved higher on the week, resulting from strong demand, rising exports and declining U.S. crude oil inventory levels.
The price per barrel of crude continues to push higher, with West Texas Intermediate approaching the $50 line on Monday after increasing 67 cents to hit $49.71 on Friday. The rally comes amid news that OPEC and non-OPEC nations will meet next week to focus on why some countries participating in the production cut agreement, which is in place until the end of March 2018, are failing to meet their agreed targets. Compliance has become a major issue for the agreement, as rising production from OPEC and non-OPEC member countries has prevented the agreement from having a larger impact on rebalancing the global market.
EIA reported a 7.2 million barrel drop in U.S. crude inventories for the week ending on July 21 – a much higher number than expected. However, according to Baker Hughes, Inc.’s latest rig count, the U.S. added 2 oil rigs, bringing the record-high total to 766. All of the news has given investors mixed signals on where the market is heading, putting greater pressure on OPEC to enhance compliance and reduce exports. The needle may move in favor of higher crude prices this week, which will contribute to rising gas prices. If crude prices continue to push upward, drivers are likely to see it reflected at the pump.