AAA: Western Pennsylvania Gas Prices Stable; Refinery Maintenance May Cause Volatility

Jill McDermott

Jill McDermott

Published February 25, 2020 5:30 am
AAA: Western Pennsylvania Gas Prices Stable; Refinery Maintenance May Cause Volatility

CLARION COUNTY, Pa., (EYT) – The average price of gasoline across Western Pennsylvania is steady this week at $2.721 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.742 in Clarion County. In Jefferson County, drivers are paying an average of $2.763. In Venango County, that same gallon of gas costs $2.804.

Based on the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, gasoline stocks decreased by nearly 850,000 barrels, and regional refinery utilization dropped from 65% to 59%. This combination could lead to volatility in the week ahead, especially as the Phillips 66 265,000-b/d Bayway refinery in Linden, N.J. undergoes maintenance.

This week’s average prices:

Western Pennsylvania Average -$2.721

Average price during the week of February 18, 2020 — $2.724

Average price during the week of February 25, 2019 — $2.641

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

$2.745 Clarion
$2.765 Brookville
$2.833 Oil City
$2.668 Kittanning
$2.763 Du Bois
$2.634 Altoona
$2.779 Beaver
$2.788 Bradford
$2.681 Butler
$2.838 Erie
$2.767 Mercer
$2.734 Pittsburgh
$2.806 Sharon
$2.661 Uniontown
$2.839 Warren
$2.638 Washington

On the National Front

More than half of all state gas price averages increased as much as three cents in the last week. The increase, which caused the national gas price average to move up by a penny to $2.47, was caused by a decrease in U.S. gasoline stocks and increases in demand. The EIA’s latest data show total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2 million barrels to 259.1 million barrels, while demand increased from 8.72 million b/d to 8.92 million b/d. Some of the decreases in stocks can be attributed to refinery maintenance.

Gasoline prices are likely to fluctuate in the coming weeks, but not drastically, as the winter driving season nears its end, and refineries undergo maintenance. Today’s national average is six cents cheaper than last month and eight cents more expensive than last year.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate, a grade of crude oil used as a benchmark in oil pricing, decreased by 50 cents to settle at $53.38. Although crude prices increased for the second week, they may not be able to hold onto gains this week as concerns regarding the coronavirus continue to mount. Until it appears that the public health threat from the virus declines and China’s industrial sector recovers, crude prices are likely to continue facing downward pressure.

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