The average price of gasoline across South Central Ohio is 19 cents higher this week at $4.283 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

This week's average prices:

• South Central Ohio average: $4.283;

• Average price during the week of May 9, 2022: $4.098;

• Average price during the week of May 17, 2021: $2.894.

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

$4.312 Athens
$4.294 Chillicothe
$4.302 Columbiana
$4.316 East Liverpool
$4.262 Gallipolis
$4.332 Hillsboro
$4.254 Ironton
$4.279 Jackson
$4.248 Logan
$4.269 Marietta
$4.242 Portsmouth 
$4.281 Steubenville
$4.291 Washington Court House
$4.280 Waverly.

With the national average cost for regular gas steadily climbing, three states — Georgia, Kansas, and Oklahoma — are still holdouts for crossing the $4 per gallon mark.

The national average for a gallon of gasoline is now $4.48 which is 40 cents more than a month ago and $1.43 more than a year ago. The increase is primarily due to the high cost of crude oil, which is hovering near $110 a barrel. 

At the beginning of last week, the price of crude oil decreased due to global market concern that crude demand will suffer as COVID lockdowns in China remain in place.

However, crude prices reversed course at the end of the week over growing market worries that Ukrainian and European Union actions against Russian oil and natural gas companies could spark retaliation by Russia, which would lead to more market disruption and uncertainty.

Additionally, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that domestic crude supply increased by 8.5 million barrels to 424.2 million barrels. The current level is still approximately 12.5 percent lower than a year ago.

According to new data from EIA, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 3.6 million barrels to 225 million barrels last week. Gasoline demand also decreased slightly from 8.86 million barrels per day to 8.7 million barrels per day. Typically, lower demand would put downward pressure on pump prices. However, crude prices remain volatile, and as they surge, pump prices follow suit.

Meanwhile, the switch to the more expensive summer blend of gasoline, which usually adds seven to ten cents per gallon depending on the market, is happening now. This switchover should be complete nationwide by early June. This summer blend switch is an annual event.

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