John Townsend
Public Relations Manager, DC
O: (202) 481-6820 (ext. 4462108)
C: (202) 253-2171
jtownsend@aaamidatlantic.com

The Week

Drivers in District of Columbia and Washington, D.C. metro area saw prices at the pump continue to decline this week. Gas demand saw a slight uptick however, it is still lower than where it was at this time last year, according to the the new weekly report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).  Lower demand has helped pump prices decline this week, and will likely help pump prices continue their descent as fall approaches. 

Summer ends next Tuesday, September 22, in the wee hours. Astronomical autumn begins that same morning, precisely at 9:31 a.m. EDT, ergo, the fall equinox. The position of the Earth in relation to the Sun, is also a signal which direction pump prices are heading. 

In the era of the coronavirus pandemic, it is also a sure sign gas prices will continue to drop in late September, due to the effects of the pandemic on global markets; the resulting “oil supply-demand balance forecasts” and the switchover from summer-grade gasoline to winter-grade gasoline at U.S. refiners and blenders. The latter typically occurs in September, and “historically gas prices weaken as autumn begins.” 

Potentially, pump prices will be even lower in October and November, barring any unforeseen developments in geopolitical circles or in market fundamentals stemming from the ancient law of supply and demand. Heading into fall, “Global oil demand still sits below 90 percent of the pre-pandemic level of 100 million barrels a day,” according to Forbes. 

The gas price average in the District of Columbia is $2.25, down three cents in the last week and down 41 cents from a year ago. The gas price average in the Washington, D.C. metro area is $2.21, down two cents in the last week and down 36 cents from this date last year. 

Today’s national gas price average is $2.18, down two cents in the last week, up a penny in the last month, and down 47 cents from this time last year.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 

 

 

Today

 

Week Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.18

 

$2.20

 

$2.65

 

Washington, D.C.

 

$2.25

 

$2.28

 

$2.66

 

D.C. Metro

 

$2.21

 

$2.23

 

$2.57

 

Crude Oil

 

$41.11

per barrel

(9/18/20)

 

$37.33

per barrel

(9/11/20)

 

$58.09

per barrel

(9/20/19)

 

 

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $41.11 per barrel, $3.78 higher than last Friday’s close. Domestic crude prices increased after EIA’s weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories decreased last week, which could signal that supply and demand are beginning to rebalance, even as crude production grew last week. Crude prices may continue to increase if supplies grow tighter, but demand challenges could contain potential growth in prices. 

The Weekend

“Typically lower supply levels translate into higher pump prices. However, even with consistent declines in gasoline stocks, that’s just not the case right now,” said John B. Townsend 2nd, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Despite the steady supply dip, continued low levels of demand helped push local and national gas prices cheaper on the week.” 

The Week Ahead

Mid-September is when gas stations make the switch to winter-blend gasoline, which is less expensive to produce than summer-blend gasoline. The difference between the two blends comes down to Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP), which is a measure of how easily the fuel evaporates at a given temperature. The higher – or more volatile – the RVP, the more able it is to evaporate at low temperatures. Winter-blend has a higher RVP, which allows the fuel to evaporate at low temperatures for the engine to operate properly, especially when the engine is cold. 

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

Next Weekend Gas Watch: Friday, September 25, 2020

 

Follow us on Twitter: @AAADCNews

Like us on Facebook: AAA Mid-Atlantic News

 

Washington, D.C. Mailing Address:
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Washington, DC 20005

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and nearly 82,000 members in the District of Columbia.  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  http://aaa.com

TEDx Wilmington Salon

Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.

This event had:

  • 12 live talks given by 13 speakers
  • 368 people in attendance at the live event
  • More than 7,500 viewed the event online through Livestream, viewing events, and on the AAA Associate network
  • Online viewers came from all 50 states and approximately 30 countries around the world

View a slideshow from the event

This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA

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