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

The Week

Gas prices around the Mid-Atlantic region dropped for another week, as crude oil prices failed to return to the mid-$60 range reached just two weeks ago, and oil and gas supplies showed a gain. These factors allow local drivers to keep a president or two in their wallets, even if it’s for a short time.

 

Today’s national gas price average is $2.54, which is down six cents in the last week, up only a penny in the last month and 25 cents higher than this time last year.

 

Maryland’s average is a penny lower than the national price at $2.53 per gallon, which is seven cents lower than last week and three cents less than last month, but 24 cents higher than last year’s price on this date. 

 

Metro areas across the state are experiencing decreases at the pump this week, ranging from as much as eight cents per gallon in Annapolis, Baltimore, and Salisbury.  Many areas are also experiencing a monthly price decline as well, most notably in Annapolis where the average price has dropped by six cents per gallon compared to a month ago.

 

At the close of NYMEX trading Thursday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled above the $60 per barrel mark for the second consecutive day. This is the highest price on the week to-date, at $61.34 per barrel.  A rebounding stock market and a weaker dollar, which makes crude oil cheaper for overseas buyers, appear to be driving the price rise.

 

Crude prices had been on a downward trend since the beginning of the month, as investors worry that higher U.S. crude output, which hit a record 10.27 million barrels per day, will undermine attempts to curb global oil supplies. The International Energy Agency (IEA) said Tuesday that crude production from countries outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would likely exceed global demand for oil this year, further pressuring prices.

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

2/16/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.54

 

$2.60

 

$2.53

 

$2.29

 

Maryland

 

$2.53

 

$2.60

 

$2.56

 

$2.29

 

Annapolis

 

$2.48

 

$2.56

 

$2.54

 

$2.25

 

Baltimore

 

$2.50

 

$2.58

 

$2.55

 

$2.26

 

Cumberland

 

$2.66

 

$2.67

 

$2.63

 

$2.42

 

Frederick

 

$2.51

 

$2.57

 

$2.55

 

$2.27

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.58

 

$2.65

 

$2.59

 

$2.34

 

Salisbury

 

$2.43

 

$2.51

 

$2.49

 

$2.22

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.60

 

$2.64

 

$2.60

 

$2.35

 

Crude Oil

 

$61.34

per barrel

(Thursday, 2/15/18)

 

$61.15

per barrel

(Thursday, 2/8/18

 

$63.73

per barrel

(1/16/18 – market closed 1/15/18)

 

$53.11

per barrel

(2/15/17)

 

The Weekend

Although gas prices have dipped in the last few days, AAA believes they will take a significant turn in the next few weeks and spike in the second quarter of the year,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “Refinery maintenance season is fast approaching.  As reduced refinery output and the switch to more-expensive summer-blend gasoline takes place, motorists can expect to pay as much as 25 to 35 cents more per gallon this spring.”

 

The Week Ahead

Drivers may see prices at the pump start to climb in the next few weeks as refinery maintenance season begins. If refineries supplying the Northeast perform their maintenance at the same time, limiting supply, prices at the pump could increase as much as 25 to 35 cents per gallon this spring.  The combination of these factors could lead to the most expensive gas prices in the second quarter since 2014.  That said, AAA does not expect that these potential peak highs will find their way into the summer months.

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

 

  • AAA's Member Rewards Visa® Credit Card (AAA.com/financial/AAAvisa.htm) accumulates double points on fuel purchases.

     

    Next Weekend Gas Watch: Friday, February 23, 2018

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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than 937,000 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.

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