OHIO – Gas prices have soared for nine straight weeks, a moderate climb this week rising 5 cents nationally per gallon for regular gasoline. National average for diesel has risen to 6.5 cents a gallon. The question is why?
Global demand for oil is increasing as the COVID-19 pandemic slows and with refinery shutdowns in Texas after a unusual freeze shut down most of the state drove prices of oil per barrel up.
“OPEC surprised oil markets last week by extending oil production cuts for another month, ignoring the resurgence in global demand as economies recover from COVID-19. Markets responded by pushing oil prices up some 12%. As a result, motorists should prepare for further gas price increases in the weeks and potentially months ahead, with a $3 per gallon national average potentially less than a month away,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “At the start of this year, it was somewhat outlandish to predict a $3 per gallon national average for the summer driving season, but thanks to the speed of recovery from the pandemic pushing demand higher and OPEC’s reluctance to raise oil production, we’re on the cusp of making that a reality. As a consumer, it’s extremely frustrating to feel helpless as prices soar and as millions remain unemployed. The only advice I can offer is prepare for further increases, and to mitigate rising prices, shop around for the low prices every time you need to refuel. I’m hopeful OPEC will see the error in their ways at next month’s meeting, but with demand exceeding supply, the longer the imbalance continues, the longer it will take for any rise in oil production to offset it,” said Gasbuddy.com
Gas prices will most likely keep rising with warmer weather on the horizon, and people wanting to get out and travel. Typically gasoline prices see increase throughout the spring and summer time annual for this reason, but this years recovery in demand will likely be enhanced by a year long lock down due to the pandemic.
Lowest price of gas in Pickaway county on Sunday was Pilot on US-23 at 2.63 per gallon, average prices were closer to 2.70 per gallon.
Ross county had cheaper gas on the same day with lowest price 2.50 in the area and average prices around 2.55.