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Christine Delise
Sr. Public Relations Specialist, MD
O: (410) 616-1900 (ext. 4361153)
C: (443) 244-7253

TOWSON, MD (November 5, 2018)At $2.76, the national gas price average is at its cheapest in six months (end of April). For the second consecutive week, Maryland’s average cost at the pump continues to be at the lowest levels since April.


Today’s national average is six cents less than a week ago,15 cents less than a month ago but 24 cents more than a year ago. As demand continues to drop, gas prices could get even cheaper.


This price drop is happening at a time that analysts previously thought would likely see pump price increases due to the White House’s re-imposition of sanctions on Iran, some of which will target the country’s energy sector and impedes its ability to export oil.


However, in May, when the decision was announced (to take effect in November), the market reacted quickly with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices spiking as high as $77 per barrel this summer. At the same time, Iran’s exports began to dip. Today, the country’s exports are reported to be about one million barrels per day less than in May, while crude oil prices have stayed below $70 per barrel for two weeks.


“With the market anticipating and reacting to the pending Iran sanctions throughout the summer, motorists likely have seen the worst in terms of retail prices for the year,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “If the crude oil market remains steady, gas prices are likely to continue to fall as much as ten cents in the near-term.”


That being said, should any factors cause an upward shift in crude oil prices, the cheaper gas prices would likely be a temporary trend.


Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Gasoline Prices and Supplies

Motorists across the region are all seeing cheaper prices on the week. Delaware ($2.44) and Virginia ($2.52) have the cheapest gas price average in the region and land among the lowest state averages in the country.


At $2.62 per gallon, Maryland ranks sixteenth in the nation with the least expensive gasoline. The state average is six cents less than last week, 22 cents, less than last month but 16 cents per gallon more than last year on this date. Metro areas across the state continue to experience weekly declines.


For a second week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that the region saw the largest draw in gasoline stocks in the country. Similar to last week, the draw can be attributed to exports in addition to regional refinery utilization rates falling to 76 percent. Stocks drew by 3.1 million barrels for a total at 64.5 million barrels.


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Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI crude oil dropped 55 cents to settle at $63.14 per barrel. Oil prices moved lower last week as total domestic crude inventories grew by 3.2 million barrels last week, according to the EIA’s latest weekly petroleum status report. Stocks now sit at 426 million barrels, which is 28.9 million barrels lower than the level seen at this time last year, but the highest level since mid-June.


Steady growth, for the sixth consecutive week, in crude inventories has helped to check excessive increases in crude prices. Moreover, re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s crude exports have not ignited fears in the market about constrained global supply this winter, since the U.S. will reportedly issue eight waivers that allow some of Iran’s top export destinations to continue importing its oil. Oil prices could remain flat or continue falling this week due to reduced concerns about a global crude supply shortage as a result of the sanctions.


AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel: 

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Mailing Address:
8600 LaSalle Road, Ste 639
Towson, MD 21286

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to over 59 million members nationwide and more than 975,000 members in Maryland.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information, visit

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