Tri-county’s gasoline prices above regional average

From staff reports

The average price of gasoline in the tri-county area this week is above the western Pennsylvania average of $3.31, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

In Venango County, the average price this week is $3.32; in Clarion County, it’s $3.34; and in Forest County, it’s $3.36.

Elsewhere in the region, both Mercer and Crawford counties, at $3.32 and $3.35, respectively, also are above the western Pennsylvania average.

The average price of gasoline in western Pennsylvania at this time last year was $2.44.

The statewide average price is $3.27, which is 86 cents more than a year ago.

The national average price is $3.18, with a majority of states seeing jumps between 2 to 10 cents. The national average price is 99 cents more than a year ago.

Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at

Trend analysis

The monthly national gas price average has increased from $3 in May to $3.07 in June to $3.15 in July.

The beginning of August is expected to be as expensive as July, especially as crude oil prices remain above $70 per barrel. An increase in global crude production is expected this month.

However, even with the additional supply, global demand could outpace global supply and keep prices high.

The market

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate increased by 33 cents to settle at $73.95. A weaker dollar helped to push prices higher last week, while market concerns surrounding demand recovery continued to grow.

Crude prices were also bolstered after the Energy Information Administration’s latest report showed total domestic crude stocks declined by 4.1 million barrels, to 435.6 million barrels.

For this week, crude prices could climb higher if EIA’s next weekly report shows another decline in total domestic crude supply.

Travel advice

As many travelers take final summer vacations, AAA reminds drivers to not rely heavily on in-dash fuel economy displays.

New AAA research has found a vehicle’s “miles to empty” estimates vary significantly and drivers could be taking an unnecessary risk if they rely too much on these displays.

With more expensive gas prices, motorists might be trying to stretch their tank to empty, but AAA recommends drivers watch their gas gauge and fill up when it reaches a quarter of a tank.