AAA: Gas prices stable in Kentucky this week

 Gas prices in West Central Kentucky are steady this week at $1.830, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

 Pump prices saw very modest increases or decreases on the week - two cents or less - in the Great Lakes and Central states, with the exception of South Dakota (+6 cents). State averages in the region range between as low as $1.65 in Missouri to as expensive as $2.22 in Illinois. Both of these states rank among the top 10 least and most expensive state averages, respectively, in the country. Compared to a year ago, motorists are seeing pump price savings of roughly 80 – 95 cents.

 The region’s refinery utilization rate saw the largest jump of any in the country, increasing by 4%. At 77%, it is also the highest rate among all regions. This contributed to a 300,000-barrel build in inventory in the region, to total 55 million barrels. According to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, gasoline stocks have surpassed year-ago levels (of nearly 48 million barrels).

 This week’s average prices: Western Central KY Average $1.830

 Average price during the week of May 26, 2020 $1.834

 Average price during the week of June 3, 2019 $2.558

 Average prices of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:

$1.757 Bowling Green

$1.750 Elizabethtown

$2.170 Louisville

$1.719 Owensboro

$1.754 Paducah

 The national gas price average is $1.97, just one penny more expensive than last week. Part of the incremental jump can be attributed to increases in gasoline demand, which saw a 7% week-over-week increase. However, demand is still down nearly 25% compared to last year, according to the Energy Information Administration’s latest reports.

 Today’s national average is 20 cents more than a month ago, but 85 cents less than a year ago.

 At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate increased by $1.78 to settle at $35.49 per barrel. At the end of last week, crude prices spiked amid increased market optimism that demand for crude oil and refined products from it, including gasoline, may be rebounding. For this week, crude prices may continue to rise if the market believes that the 9.7 million b/d production reduction agreement for May and June 2020 between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major crude exporters, including Russia, is helping to rebalance the global oil market as demand remains low due to COVID-19.

 Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at

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