AAA: Gas prices lower again in Kentucky; oil prices plunge

 Gas prices in West Central Kentucky are four cents lower this week at $1.320, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.  Pump prices continue to decrease across the Great Lakes and Central States. On the week, state averages are between two and eight cents less. Wisconsin (-8 cents) and Minnesota (-7 cents) saw the biggest weekly decreases in the region.  Regional gasoline stocks held relatively flat at 60.2 million barrels, according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. The small dip in stocks – down from 60.5 million – is likely due to the decrease in regional refinery utilization, which is at 65%. That is a stark difference from the 91% rate just two months ago, as many refineries are reducing production amid low demand. This week’s average prices: Western Central KY Average $1.320 Average price during the week of April 13, 2020 $1.362 Average price during the week of April 22, 2019 $2.616 Average prices of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas: $1.459 Bowling Green $1.126 Elizabethtown $1.675 Louisville $1.108 Owensboro $1.231 Paducah  On the week, the national gas price average decreased by a nickel pushing the year-over-year savings to $1.03/gallon.  On Monday, 20 states have pump price averages that are $1/gallon or more cheaper compared to last year, with another dozen states within a dime of reaching this mark. One in four U.S. gas stations are selling gas for $1.49 or less. Prices may continue to drop in the week ahead, as regional refinery rates drop and the price of crude oil plummets. At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) decreased by $1.60 to settle at $18.12 per barrel. Today (April 20th), the price dropped into negative territory. This drastic drop is likely to be reflected at the pump in the days ahead.  Crude prices were volatile last week in the wake of a historic 9.7-million b/d crude oil production reduction agreement for May and June 2020 between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia. As oil inventories continue to grow around the globe and crude demand falls worldwide, crude prices have dropped dramatically as the public health, economic and financial impact of COVID-19 increases. Crude prices will likely remain volatile this week as the market continues to assess how low prices could fall during the ongoing pandemic.  On the week, U.S. gasoline demand was stable at 5.1 million barrels-per-day as refinery rates dipped down to 69%, a level not reported by the EIA in more than a decade. Despite lower run rates amid low demand, gasoline stocks increased. Total U.S. stock levels measure at a record 262 million barrels – the highest weekly domestic stock level ever recorded by EIA, since it began reporting the data in 1990.  Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at

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