LEXINGTON, Ky. — The national average is the highest price since October 2014 and is primarily due to the surging price of crude oil, which crept above $80 a barrel before edging slightly lower. The national average price for a gallon of gas rose 8 cents on the week to reach $3.27, while the average price in Kentucky doubled that climb, going from $2.92 a week ago to $3.08 today―a 16-cent climb.
Crude prices rose quickly following the decision of OPEC, Russia, and their allies (collectively known as OPEC+) not to move forward with an agreement to produce 800,000 barrels per day in November. Instead, OPEC+ decided to maintain a previously agreed upon 400,000 barrels per day production increase.
According to new EIA data, total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 3.3 million barrels to 225.1 million barrels last week. Gasoline demand also increased slightly, from 9.40 million barrels a day to 9.44 million barrels a day. The slight increase in gas demand aided in the national average’s rise. However, the main culprit for rising pump prices remains high crude prices above $74 per barrel.
Meanwhile, a breach and spill in a key pipeline supplying fuel to parts of the southeastern U.S. led to tightened regional supplies. Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) said it expected repairs to its southeastern products pipeline to be completed October 9, with a restart afterward.
The repairs were slowed by the recent heavy rain and flooding around Birmingham, Alabama. The spill took place on October 1. The pipeline serves various metropolitan areas, including Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Washington, D.C.
The national average of $3.27 is 10 cents more than a month ago, $1.09 more than a year ago, and 63 cents more than this time of the year during pre-pandemic 2019.
Kentucky’s average of $3.08 is 18 cents more than a month ago, $1.08 more than a year ago, and 72 cents more than this time of the year during pre-pandemic 2019.
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Washington, D.C. (+17 cents), Kentucky (+16 cents), Indiana (+15 cents), Florida (+13 cents), Michigan (+12 cents), Alabama (+12 cents), Tennessee (+12 cents), South Carolina (+11 cents), Illinois (+10 cents), and Delaware (+10 cents).
The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($4.44), Hawaii ($4.12), Nevada ($3.87), Washington ($3.85), Oregon ($3.75), Idaho ($3.72), Alaska ($3.71), Utah ($3.70), Colorado ($3.52) and Wyoming ($3.51).
Prices at the pump take big jumps across the Bluegrass
Gas prices across Central Kentucky continued to rise over the past week, breaking from the expected seasonal decline seen this time of year, due to the continued escalation of crude oil prices.
In Lexington, the average gas price sits at $3.13, shooting up 18 cents from this time last week. The current average for Lexington is 22 cents higher than a month ago and up $1.13 from a year ago, when the pandemic still had many people staying home.
In Georgetown, gas prices are now at $3.12, up a dime from a week ago and also 21 cents higher on the month. In Nicholasville, gas prices surged 17 cents on the week to land at $3.08, which is 25 cents more than a month ago.
Gas prices in Richmond are now at $3.15, a 12-cent increase from a week ago and 19 cents more than a month ago. In Versailles, the average gas price also sits at $3.15, which is 18 cents higher than a week ago and 19 cents higher than this time last month.
In Winchester, the average price of unleaded jumped 12 cents on the week, landing at $3.14. That’s 28 cents higher than a month ago.
Click here for more Kentucky business news.