ASHLAND — Gas prices nationwide have begun to slide from June’s high of over $5 per gallon, but some areas are coming down faster than others.
The average price of gas in Ashland, Knox, and Richland counties is $4.11 to $4.20 per gallon, while counties home to major metropolitan areas like Cleveland and Columbus have averages of $3.97 to $4 per gallon, according to data from AAA.
Some gas stations in Cleveland and Columbus have prices hovering around $3.50 per gallon, according to data from GasBuddy, a website that tracks gas prices nationwide.
Gas prices in rural areas are not always higher than in urban areas, but there are a number of factors that could cause prices to remain high, said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
“There may be lower volumes of gasoline sold, so there could be a longer lag time as stations sell through more expensive fuel before buying lower-priced fuel and then lowering prices,” De Haan said.
“This would also mean a lag to rising prices potentially. But rural areas generally have fewer gas stations and thus lower competition than there might be in an urban area.”
The largest reason for gas prices’ recent soaring heights is the price of crude oil, which makes up the majority of the cost for gas, according to a story in The New York Times.
Crude oil prices are at around $97 per barrel, a far cry from the brief pandemic price of -$40 per barrel, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Crude oil prices fluctuated between $40 to $70 per barrel from 2015-2020, when gas prices rarely breached $3 per gallon.