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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

This week, Lockport area gas prices "stabilized," according to AAA East Central’s weekly Fuel Gauge report, based on reports from 22 stations in the Lockport area.

This week’s Lockport-area average price is $2.305, down less than a cent from last week's price of $2.314. A year ago, the average was $3.388.

For the second week in a row, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded increased, reaching $2.21. Despite this increase, drivers are still paying about 10 cents less over last month and 72 cents over last year at this time.

The volume of refinery maintenance work and unplanned outages have caused the average price to creep higher over the past weeks, yet drivers are paying the lowest average price per gallon for this date since 2006.

As turnaround maintenance continues, some Midwestern states are seeing relief as prices fell 11 cents in Ohio and Indiana following significant week-over-week hikes. Elsewhere, drivers are paying more than 10 cents over last week’s state averages, in Delaware, Kentucky and Oregon. Drivers in Pennsylvania are also seeing incremental increases, despite reports of refinery restarts, which should lower pump prices. The U.S. Department of Energy continues to rank gas production and refinery rates at the same levels as previous weeks.

Chevron’s Richmond, Calif. refinery is the latest to announce a shutdown to a major unit on site as crews continue the largest turnaround work in the refinery’s history. Over the next few weeks, due to unexpected outages such as these, volatility in the national average remains possible.

Even with short-term regional shortages, market factors indicating a strengthening U.S. dollar should further draw crude oil prices down, as market oversupply remains front of mind.

OPEC’s Secretary announced that the cartel remains optimistic that the market will return to balance in the next year, as the cartel prepares for its planning meeting on Dec. 4.

Along with OPEC’s announcement came news that domestic oil and gas drilling reportedly reached its lowest point since June 2010, which typically causes an increase in pump prices. However, domestic crude oil inventories remain near-record high, which should keep prices down over the next few months.

East Niagara Post is the official media sponsor of Hockey Day in Lockport.


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