Gas prices continued their downward trend in West Central Kentucky this week, dropping by a dime this week to an average of $2.471 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
The Great Lakes and Central states are seeing some of the largest declines in gas prices (Kentucky -10 cents). Parts of the region saw gas prices spike alongside Harvey hitting the Gulf Coast. However, with pipelines resuming operations as of late, motorists are seeing gas prices decrease. As we move into fall and gasoline demand drops-off, consumers could see some of the lowest gas prices of 2017.
This week’s average prices: Western Central KY Average $2.471
Average price during the week of September 11, 2017 $2.575
Average price during the week of September 19, 2016 $2.095
Average prices of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.544 Bowling Green
On the National Front
As South and Southeast states continue to recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, motorists in 45 U.S. states are paying less for a gallon of gas on the week. At $2.62, today’s national gas price average is the cheapest in 14 days and five cents less than last week.
As gas prices drop for the majority of the country, so does the nation’s gasoline inventory. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report identifies the latest draw of 8.4 million bbl as the highest on record, much of which can be attributed to motorist fueling up in the droves in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.
Last week, at $2.73, Florida’s saw its highest gas prices since December 2014. The spike came as many gas stations faced outages as power was down and roads impassable. The good news is that in the last seven days, the state’s average has shaved off one cent. In addition, ports are open and receiving steady streams of tanker shipments as state officials continue to work with gasoline trucker and shippers to ensure timely delivery of product to retail stations. Reports indicate that the gas station gasoline outage situation is improving as stations receive deliveries.
Similarly, positive progress is being seen in the Gulf Coast. According to the Department of Energy, a total of six Gulf Coast refineries are operating at reduced rates, which is one more refinery than last week. These six facilities make-up 13 percent of refining capacity in the U.S. Five refineries continue to operate at reduced rates and three remain shut down, which represents a total of 10 percent of U.S. refining capacity. It will likely be a few more weeks before the regions affected by Irma and Harvey are back to normal operations.
As refineries work to reach pre-storm capacity levels, oil inventories may decline in the coming weeks as refineries turn to storage tanks to meet demand needs. Given that the fall driving season tends to be less demand-driven, any declines in inventories are likely to keep pace with demand.