Gasoline price jumps 6 cents in region

PARKERSBURG — The average price of gasoline across Northern West Virginia is six cents more expensive this week at $2.776 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

The average price of gasoline in Parkersburg is $2.773. The highest price in the state is $2.826 in Martinsburg.

As the region sees gasoline stocks tighten on the week, a handful of Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw significant increases at the pump, including West Virginia (plus 7 cents), said AAA. Year-over-year, most states in the region have more expensive gasoline price averages, officials said.

With a 3.2-million-barrel draw, the region saw the largest decrease in gasoline stocks of any in the country for the week ending April 5. According to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, total stocks now sit at 60.2 million, which is the lowest level of the year but on par with levels this time last year. Regional refinery utilization remains at 79 percent, but that is expected to increase throughout this month, officials said.

This week’s average gas price for Northern WV is $2.776; average price during the week of April 8, 2019, was $2.710, and average price during the week of April 16, 2018, was $2.694.

The following is a list of the average gasoline price in several West Virginia locations: $2.808, Bridgeport; $2.804, Clarksburg; $2.779, Huntington; $2.826, Martinsburg; $2.735, Morgantown; $2.773, Parkersburg; $2.750, Weirton, and $2.735, Wheeling.

On the national front: Pump prices on the West Coast increased as much as 20 cents this past week, driving the national average up nearly 10 cents to $2.83 on the week. As stocks tighten out West due to unplanned and planned maintenance, California’s average jumped to $4, the most expensive state average this week and a price point not seen in the Golden State since July 2014, AAA said.

Nationwide, as gasoline supplies decrease and demand measures at summer-levels, gasoline prices are also increasing throughout the rest of the country.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate increased 31 cents to settle at $63.89. Oil prices increased last week, and will likely continue their ascent this week, as a weaker dollar helped to push crude prices up because of the increased number of dollars needed to purchase crude on the global market, AAA said.

Another contributing factor to the price jumps came from reports there was a 534,000-b/d decline in crude production by OPEC members in March. The news underscores that OPEC and its partners are making reductions in service consistent with their 1.2 million b/d production reduction agreement, which is in place through June, AAA said.

Motorists can find current gasoline prices nationwide, statewide and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 80 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members.