Ohio gas prices drop along with the temperature

Christy Johnson and Christy Johnson

While many prices have increased for products and services in lieu of the minimum wage increase, students may find unexpected financial relief at the gas pump.

Gasoline prices in Ohio have fallen below $2 a gallon for regular unleaded gas. These prices are the lowest the state has seen since spring 2005.

“I noticed the gas price drop because in the past few weeks I have saved around $3 when filling up my Eclipse, which uses premium gas,” junior Keith Howard said.

Ohio gasoline prices are the 6th lowest in the nation with an average price per gallon of regular fuel costing $1.98.8, trailing Oklahoma, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana and Kansas.

“Price per barrel, availability and demand determine the price at the pump,” said Jim McDermott, store manager at Barney’s Citgo Convenient Mart on Wooster Street.

Those factors, along with a warmer than average winter, have resulted in an average national gas price that is 16 cents cheaper than last year at this time.

“Refiners can make their distillate fuel into heat oil or gas,” said Mark Hansen, president of Venture Fuels, a wholesale fuel management company in Wisconsin.

This winter, which saw the eighth warmest December on record, plays into the production or lack there of, of both distillate fuel products and what refiners choose to turn it into.

Hansen, who’s company supplies Sterling Store on Wooster Street with its fuel, said in winter, heating oil production increase anywhere from 2 to 3 percent, spiking to as high as 5 percent.

This winter, that demand is down.

“Since the heating demand is down, the refineries shifted back to producing diesel fuel, that has made the fuel stocks go up,” Hansen said.

Another factor has been the growth of crude oil supplies in the past six months, making supply greater, which allows producers to lower prices for the consumer.

In Bowling Green, the cheapest gas yesterday was reported to be $1.87 a gallon.

“It is nice knowing that I can spend less now,” junior Lindsey Thompson said,

The recent decrease in fuel pricing has lightened expenditures for students who drive to nearby cities for employment.

“I fill up once a week because I drive 25 minutes to get to work,” Thompson said.

Thompson said she has seen her total costs in filling up her Honda go down from $25 to $20 in the past few weeks, and she isn’t alone.

“I’ve noticed that the prices are lower, but I wish the prices would go back down to when I first started driving, when a gallon was around $1.15,” junior Katie Porter said.