Ragina C. Ali
Public Relations Manager, MD
O: (410) 616-1900 (ext. 4361152)
C: (443) 465-5020
Just when Maryland drivers thought gas prices couldn’t go any higher….they didn’t. Prices at the pumps across the state are LESS than they were last week. Increased supplies of gasoline along the East coast, along with crude oil prices below $63 this week have helped to keep prices in check.
Maryland’s statewide gas price average Friday is $2.78, which is three cents lower than last week, 9 cents higher than last month and five cents lower than on this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.87, which is down two cents in the last week, up 11 cents in the last month, and is two cents more than last year’s price.
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $61.66 per barrel, 28 cents than last Friday’s close. Crude oil prices hovered between $61 and $63 this week as investors reacted to the potential demand threat posed by trade tensions between China and the U.S. Increased tariffs on Chinese imports, taking effect today, could undercut global economic strength and hurt oil demand, causing a drop in crude prices. On the other hand, traders continue to watch growing tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which could disrupt crude output and cause oil prices to trend higher. Of late, oil prices have been supported by signs of tighter global supply following production cuts by OPEC and their allies.
“Local drivers are getting some room to breathe at the pump, as prices halt a bit, and even drop slightly in some areas since last week,” says Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “With the Memorial Day holiday weekend just three weeks away, all eyes will be on the gas prices to see if they stay below the $3 per gallon benchmark for the unofficial start of summer.”
The Week Ahead
For the 2019 summer driving season, which runs from April through September, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that U.S. regular gasoline retail prices will average $2.92 per gallon (previous estimate was $2.76 per gallon), up from an average of $2.85 per gallon last summer. The higher forecast gasoline prices primarily reflect EIA’s expectation of higher gasoline refining margins this summer, despite slightly lower crude oil prices. The EIA also estimates U.S. oil production will hit a record 12.45 million barrels a day this year and rise again to 13.38 million barrels a day in 2020.
AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:
Next Weekend Gas Watch: Friday, May 17, 2019
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to over 59 million members nationwide and more than 982,000 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 AAA.com.