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How low will they go?

• Jan 30, 2017 at 10:07 PM

Northeast Ohio gas prices are lower for a third week in a row for drivers, saving them an additional eight cents per gallon.

Average retail gasoline prices in Ohio have fallen 9.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.01 per gallon Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 5,345 gas outlets in Ohio. This compares with the national average that has fallen 3.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.26/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Ohio during the past week, prices yesterday were 34.8 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 32.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 6.7 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 46.2 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on January 30 in Ohio have ranged widely over the last five years: $1.66/g in 2016, $2.07/g in 2015, $3.20/g in 2014, $3.47/g in 2013 and $3.38/g in 2012.

Continual growth in the number of U.S. oil rigs and the increased drilling it implies are raising expectations for a climb in domestic oil production, according to AAA. Additionally, increased U.S. crude oil production coupled with lower driving demand has kept downward pressure on the national average price at the pump, which has fallen for 21 consecutive days. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.27 per gallon, down four cents versus one week ago, five cents less than one month ago, but 47 cents more per gallon year-over-year.

Pump prices in the Great Lakes region continue to drop this week with Ohio landing at the top of the list of the largest weekly decline, dropping an additional 11 cents. Like suppliers in the Rockies, those in the Great Lakes and Central region are offering steep discounts to help clear out product. Low demand and healthy supply in the Great Lakes region should continue to pressure prices down over the next week.

Markets opened Monday morning posting steady crude oil prices as a result of increased U.S. oil production. Oil-services firm Baker Hughes reported thatdrillers added 15 rigs in the U.S., bringing the total crude oil rig count to 556, the highest since November 2015. The increased U.S. production continues to offset OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the global oil market.

End of month surveys of OPEC production cuts are expected tomorrow and traders will be paying close attention to the cartel’s agreement compliance. Market watchers will also keep a close eye on U.S. production and the impact it has on supply and demand. At the closing of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate was down 61 cents to settle at $53.17 per barrel.

This week’s average prices: Northeast Ohio Average $2.103

Average price during the week of January 23, 2017 $2.188

Average price during the week of February 1, 2016 $1.687

The following is a list of the average price of the unleaded self-service gasoline in various areas:

$2.100 Alliance

$2.037 Ashland

$2.148 Ashtabula

$2.204 Aurora

$2.193 Chesterland

$2.092 Cleveland

$2.090 Elyria

$2.116 Independence

$2.002 Lorain

$2.164 Lyndhurst

$1.898 Massillon

$2.171 Mentor

$2.015 New Philadelphia

$2.042 Niles

$2.102 Norwalk

$2.141 Oberlin

$1.079 Parma

$2.073 Ravenna

$2.231 Solon

$2.113 Willard

$2.151 Youngstown

"For the 22nd straight day, the national average for a gallon of gasoline has dropped, the longest such streak since last summer,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. "Average prices now stand at their lowest thus far in 2017 and the lowest since before Christmas, thanks primarily to weak demand for gasoline and also bulging inventories of gasoline."

"Soaking weather on the West Coast has certainly dampened motorists appetite for gasoline, while in the Midwest, weak demand has led to a surplus of winter gasoline, leading some stations in the region to offer the nation's lowest price: $1.52 can be found at a gas station in Oxford, Ohio. But before motorists celebrate such cheap gas, the sweet deal likely won't stick much longer as we've been waiting since last week to see such loss-leaders to disappear. However, we may continue to see the national average moderate during the next week, with the exception in the Great Lakes- where a price adjustment of sorts is still expected," DeHaan said.

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