West Central Kentucky gas prices fell this week by almost a nickel to $2.268 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
Gas prices across much of the region have seen a mixed bag of increases and decreases this week. At the moment, prices moderately increased in some parts of the region which can likely be attributed to refinery maintenance and the steady decline in gasoline inventories. Statewide, Kentucky’s average price ($2.31) has dropped by about three cents over the week and is on the list of the top 15 least expensive averages in the country.
According to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, regional refineries are running at less than 85 percent capacity and gasoline inventories are at a nearly 3.5 million barrel deficit compared to this same time last year.
This week’s average prices: Western Central KY Average $2.224
Average price during the week of October 16, 2017 $2.268
Average price during the week of October 24, 2016 $2.109
Average prices of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.169 Bowling Green
On the National Front
The average price at the pump has fallen for 15 of the last 20 days, for a total savings of seven cents per gallon. The national average currently sits at $2.46 per gallon, which is one cent less than one week ago, 12 cents less than one month ago and 24 cents more year-over-year. The national average is down 17 cents per gallon versus the 2017 peak price reached in September ($2.67).
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate increased 18 cents to settle at $51.47. As the week progresses, the oil market appears poised to continue making gains. Last week’s EIA report noted a drop in crude inventories by 5.7 million barrels. The decrease is likely due to crude exports increasing to 1.8 million barrels per day, according to EIA. Moreover, as expected, crude oil demand in the U.S. is down by 1 million b/d from last year, while total crude inputs at U.S. refineries dropped by 819,000 b/d.
Additionally, the U.S. rig count fell by 7, with the latest decline leaving 736 rigs active in the U.S., according to Baker Hughes, Inc. All of this data points toward weak domestic demand and decreased production of crude. As domestic crude demand slows, the ability to sell crude outside of U.S. markets through exports has helped push the price higher.