A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

AAA: Gas prices fall by an average of 9 cents over past week, tempered by Biden tapping into reserves

The national average pump price fell 9 cents over the past week, hitting $3.79.

It has dropped daily since October 11, primarily due to lower oil prices and fewer drivers than usual fueling up. Kentucky has also seen small, incremental decreases in the average price at the pump daily, falling about 10 cents in the same time period to land at $3.41 today.

“Global recession fears coupled with the Biden Administration’s plan to continue tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve into December has helped temper oil prices,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, public affairs manager, AAA Blue Grass. “This will help take the pressure off pump prices, benefitting drivers and their wallets.”

According to recent data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand increased slightly from 8.28 million b/d to 8.68 million b/d last week.

Total domestic gasoline stocks decreased marginally from 209.5 million bbl to 209.4 million bbl. Although gasoline demand is up slightly, it remains nearly 1 million bbl lower than this date last year. If demand remains low and oil prices don’t spike, pump prices will likely keep falling.

Today’s national average of $3.79 is 9 cents higher than a month ago and 41 cents more than a year ago.

Kentucky’s average for a gallon of regular is now $3.41, dropping a penny overnight, 6 cents lower on the week but still16 cents higher compared to a month ago. A year ago, the average in Kentucky was $3.09.

Lexington’s average is now at $3.35, down a penny overnight, down 4 cents from a week ago, but still cents 10 cents higher than a month ago. A year ago, the Lexington average was $3.08.

In Northern Kentucky, Covington is at $3.72, steady overnight, 5 cents lower on the week, but still 34 cents higher on the month. A year ago, Covington was at $3.09.

In Eastern Kentucky, motorists in Morehead are seeing the gas price average $3.58, which is stable overnight and steady on the week, but 3 cents lower than a month ago. A year ago, the average price in Morehead was $3.15.
Pikeville is at $3.30 today, up a penny overnight, 5 cents lower on the week but 17 cents higher on the month. A year ago, the average in Pikeville was $3.06. Ashland is at $3.40 today, steady overnight, also steady on the week and 8 cents lower on the month. A year ago, the price in Ashland was $3.14.
Around the Commonwealth, the highest gas prices remain primarily in the northern tier of counties. The highest county-level average gas price today is again in Pendleton, still at $3.89, followed by Campbell at $3.81. The cheapest spot for gas in the Commonwealth today can be found in Simpson County, dropping 5 cents on the week to $3.15. Laurel County is at $3.17, while Taylor and Green are both at $3.18.
Checking nearby, the average price for a gallon of regular today (and change compared to last week) in Ohio is at $3.67 (-0.13), West Virginia $3.54 (-0.03), Virginia $3.52 (-0.05), Tennessee $3.31 (-0.06), Indiana $3.92 (-0.15), Illinois $4.22 (-0.11) and Missouri $3.40 (-0.06).

Across the nation, the high spot remains California at $5.75, which is down another 30 cents following a 28-cent drop last week, followed by Hawaii at $5.20. The lowest state averages can be found in Georgia and Texas, both at $3.20.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases: Alaska (−33 cents), California (−30 cents), Oregon (−26 cents), Washington (−24 cents), Nevada (−20 cents), Indiana (−15 cents), Michigan (−15 cents), Wisconsin (−14 cents), Ohio (−13 cents) and Illinois (−11 cents).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Georgia ($3.20), Texas ($3.20), Mississippi ($3.27), Arkansas ($3.30), South Carolina ($3.31), Tennessee ($3.31), Louisiana ($3.34), Florida ($3.35), Alabama ($3.37) and Missouri ($3.40).

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 54 cents to settle at $85.05. Although crude prices increased after the EIA reported that total domestic commercial crude inventories dropped by 1.7 million bbl to 437.4 million bbl last week, the price of oil had declined earlier in the week due to ongoing market concerns about crude demand as recession fears increased. If the market remains concerned about the rate of economic growth this week, crude prices could decline.


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