AAA: Western PA Gas Prices Increase; Hurricanes Still Impacting Gasoline Supplies

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Gas prices in Western Pennsylvania are three cents higher this week at $3.373 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

This week’s average prices: Western Pennsylvania Average                 $3.373
Average price during the week of September 13, 2021                            $3.343
Average price during the week of September 21, 2020                            $2.534

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

$3.353      Altoona
$3.359      Beaver
$3.384      Bradford
$3.363      Brookville
$3.360      Butler
$3.437      Clarion
$3.345      DuBois
$3.449      Erie
$3.337      Greensburg
$3.360      Indiana
$3.347      Jeannette
$3.368      Kittanning
$3.357      Latrobe
$3.351      Meadville
$3.464      Mercer
$3.293      New Castle
$3.350      New Kensington
$3.459      Oil City
$3.339      Pittsburgh

$3.359      Sharon
$3.347      Uniontown
$3.459      Warren
$3.343      Washington

Trend Analysis:

The national gas price average rose two cents on the week to $3.19, matching a seven-year-high last seen in early August. While the post-Labor Day period usually sees less demand and lower gas prices, this year, the impact of Hurricane Ida, followed two weeks later by Hurricane Nicholas, has slowed oil production and refinery recovery along the Gulf Coast.

Hurricane Nicholas complicated and slowed the recovery from Ida, but the seasonal drop-off in demand helped mitigate price increases on the week. However, this is only the mid-point for hurricane season and there have already been 17 named storms. Motorists could see price fluctuations into October.

True to seasonal form, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports gasoline demand has fallen 8% to 8.9 million barrels per day, the lowest since Memorial Day.

Approximately 23% of offshore Gulf of Mexico oil production remains offline. However, most storm-affected refineries are reporting some level of restarting. Once fully back online, refinery production will help to increase domestic supply levels, which took another step back by 2 million barrels to 218 million barrels in EIA’s latest report. This is the lowest stock level since the post-Hurricane Harvey period in 2017. The tightened supply level has contributed to an increase in oil prices, which hit a high of $72 per barrel last week, a level not seen since July. If the price of oil remains at this level or goes higher, it will likely result in higher prices at the pump.

Today’s national average of $3.19 is two cents more than a month ago and is $1.01 more than a year ago.

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