Drivers got lucky this week as much of the Mid-Atlantic region saw pump prices stay flat and even drop a cent or two over the past seven days. Gas prices may continue to drop in the near future due to declining crude oil prices and a well-supplied market, but will begin to creep up again over the next month due to seasonal refinery maintenance and the May 1 required switch over for producing summer-blend gasoline. This prediction comes with the necessary caveat that an unexpected market-moving event, such as unplanned domestic refinery maintenance or further production cuts from OPEC and non-OPEC countries, could further impact prices and supply.
Today’s national average of $2.29 is one cent less than one week ago and the same as it was one month ago. Compared to this same date last year, consumers are paying 33 cents more per gallon at the pump.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)
Cape May County
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties
Monmouth, Ocean Counties
$48.73 per barrel
$48.49 per barrel
$40.20 per barrel
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $48.73 per barrel. Crude prices remained below the $50 mark all week as the global oil market remains oversupplied, and relatively high U.S. production levels continue to support bearish market sentiment. The possibility of continued production compliance by OPEC is likely to keep the market relatively fickle in the near term. Traders will continue to keep a close eye on OPEC compliance and U.S. supply and production.
"Drivers are catching a lucky break for another week at the pump,” said Tracy E. Noble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "Crude oil remains below $50 and the markets are well supplied, allowing motorists some extra green in their pockets.”
The Week Ahead
Analysts note the Mid-Atlantic region will be the last region to start refinery maintenance and make the switch to summer-blend gasoline. Prices at the pump should remain low until spring arrives as stations get rid of the less expensive winter-blend gasoline.
AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:
NJ Mailing Address:
700 Horizon Drive
Hamilton Township, NJ 08691
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 56 million members nationwide and nearly two million members in New Jersey. 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 www.aaa.com.