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

TOWSON, MD (November 26, 2018) – With the Thanksgiving holiday travel period over, pump prices are steadily declining across the country and are headed toward some of the cheapest gas prices in 2018. The new lowest price for the year came last week for Maryland when the state average dropped below the initial 2018 low price of $2.48 per gallon set on March 9. Since last Monday, Maryland’s average has dropped to a new 2018 low price every day.


Today’s national average is $2.56 per gallon, which is six cents less than last week, 27 cents less than last month, but five cents more than last year on this date. The national average was lowest in January at $2.49 per gallon.


“Trends are indicating that the month of December may bring some of the cheapest gas prices of the year,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Currently, 19 states, including Maryland, already have gas price averages less expensive than a year ago so as gasoline demand remains low and supply plentiful, motorists can expect to save at the pump as long as the price of crude oil doesn’t spike.”


Gas prices have been trending downward as crude oil sells at $57 per barrel and cheaper – the lowest prices of the year. However, market observers warn crude could see an increase following the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting on December 6 in Vienna, Austria. At that meeting, OPEC is expected to curtail crude production by 1 million to 1.4 million barrels per day, which could cause crude prices to rise due to reduced global supply, in turn causing gas prices to turn higher in America.


Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Gasoline Prices and Supplies

Across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, gas prices are cheaper on the week with Washington, D.C. seeing the smallest decrease (-2 cents). As pump prices continue to decline, all state averages in the region remain well below the $3.00 per gallon mark - a vast change from this summer when several regional states, including Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., were routinely at this mark.


This week, Delaware ($2.24), Maryland ($2.42) and Pennsylvania ($2.76) have state gas price averages cheaper than one year ago with a year-over-year difference of 18, five and one cent, respectively.


Maryland’s average price is $2.42 per gallon, a new low for 2018. The state average reflects a five cents decline from last week, a 27 cents drop from last month, and is five cents lower than the price last year on this date.


Gasoline stocks dramatically declined by nearly 3 million barrels on the week to drop stocks to a total of 61.7 million barrels, a 3.6 percent decline from the previous week. EIA data shows that stock levels have not been this low since April of this year. The large draw in stocks kept state gas price averages from seeing large declines this week.



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Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped $4.21 and settled at $50.42 per barrel. Oil prices plunged to their lowest point since October 2017 last week as the EIA reported that crude inventories continue to build. The latest EIA weekly petroleum report showed that crude inventories grew by 4.9 million barrels to 447 million barrels.


Total domestic crude inventories have grown for nine consecutive weeks, contributing to crude prices dropping further. If this week’s EIA report shows another build, crude prices will likely continue their descent.


Growth in global crude production, including in the U.S., combined with weaker than expected global crude demand for the fourth quarter of 2018 have contributed to growth in global crude inventories. Market observers will now watch OPEC closely, which may decide to reduce its total crude production at its meeting next month. If OPEC, along with Russia, decides to reduce production, crude prices will likely increase due to the agreement.  



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

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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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