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Drivers have seen an increase in activity at the pump in the last week and the last month. Maryland’s statewide gas price averageFriday is $2.82, which is seven cents higher than last week, 17 cents higher than last month and fivecents higher than on this date last year.Price average increases vary in the last month within the state, between increases of 14 cents in Annapolis to 25 cents in Cumberland.
Higher crude prices, the final switchover to summer-blend gasoline and increased demand for gasoline have all contributed to recent increases and are expected to drive prices higher leading up to the Memorial Day weekend.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.88, which is up five cents in the last week, 24 cents in the last month, and is nine cents more than last year’s price.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $63.30 per barrel, 70 cents less than last Thursday’s close. On Tuesday, WTI settled at $66.30, the highest 2019 settlement price and a benchmark last seen in October 2018. The increase in crude prices followed a decision by the U.S. to end waivers for countries importing Iranian oil. The current waivers expire on May 2. Sanctions against Venezuela are also eating into global oil supply and could affect prices. Meanwhile, OPEC is still holding to the production cuts it established back in 2016 but that deal may be revisited when it expires in June. On the flip side, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Wednesday that U.S. crude supplies rose by 5.5 million barrels, keeping crude prices below $66.30 for the rest of this week.
“Drivers are experiencing sticker shock at the pump – over the past month and perhaps for the month to come,” says Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “AAA expects that gas prices will continue to increase through the Memorial Day holiday weekend, typically the first big weekend road trip of the summer travel season. Yet, we do not expect more expensive gas prices to impact summer travel, as current pump prices are on par with this time last year, when motorists hit the road in record numbers.”
The Week Ahead
AAA reminds motorists there are simple things they can do to improve fuel economy, stretching a tank of gas further between fill ups:
AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:
NextWeekend Gas Watch: Friday, May 3, 2019
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