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AAA: Pennsylvania Gas Prices Continue to Plunge; Crude Hits 18-Year Low

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 @ 12:03 AM

Posted by Jill McDermott

country fair gasCLARION CO., Pa., (EYT) – After falling by 12 cents last week, the average price of gasoline across Western Pennsylvania is another 13 cents cheaper this week at $2.358 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

Drivers in Clarion County pay an average of $2.392 for a gallon of unleaded regular.

In Jefferson County, the average is $2.382.

For those in Venango County, $2.417 is the average price.

“Typically, gas prices start to trend more expensive at the beginning of spring, especially as motorists get out to enjoy the warmer weather and travel for spring break. That is not the case this year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.

“With Americans urged to stay at home and practice social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus, we are seeing less traffic on the roadways, which will ultimately drive down demand, increase gasoline supply, and push pump prices less expensive for the foreseeable future.”

Prices are cheaper across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region this week. Many states are seeing rates that are nearly 40 cents cheaper on the month. Pennsylvania’s average is 11 cents cheaper this week at $2.35.

Since early February, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data show that regional gasoline stocks have declined. The latest draw of nearly 2 million barrels brings total stock levels down to 62 million barrels. More concerning, regional refinery utilization is at its lowest point (57%) since 2012.

While gas prices in the region are moving cheaper primarily because of inexpensive crude oil prices, declining stock levels and lower refinery rates are slowing the pace at which pump prices drop in the region compared to other states in the Midwest and Southern regions.

Western Pennsylvania Average

This week’s average prices: – $2.358
Last week’s average – $2.489
A year ago – $2.791

The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:

$2.410 Clarion
$2.407 Oil City
$2.399 Brookville
$2.411 Kittanning
$2.181 Altoona
$2.370 DuBois
$2.376 Erie
$2.355 Indiana
$2.403 Jeannette
$2.283 Latrobe
$2.419 Mercer
$2.001 New Castle
$2.406 New Kensington
$2.453 Pittsburgh
$2.401 Sharon

On the National Front

With the national average at $2.12, pump prices are, on average, 50 cents less than a year ago.

Across the country, state averages are less than $3/gallon except in Hawaii ($3.47) and California ($3.21). Twenty-nine states have gas price averages at $2.10 or less with Oklahoma ($1.71) carrying the cheapest in the country.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the crude price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia continue to push crude prices down, and until these factors cease, domestic crude prices are likely to remain low.

While gas prices start to trend more expensive at the beginning of spring, especially as motorists get out to enjoy the warmer weather and travel for spring break, it appears that will not yet be the case this year.

With Americans urged to stay at home and practice social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus, there is less traffic on the roadways, which will ultimately drive down demand, increase gasoline supply, and push pump prices less expensive for the foreseeable future.

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


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