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

TOWSON, MD (September 4, 2018) – Most travelers who hit the roads for the Labor Day weekend found gas prices remained steady over the weekend, although there were a few exceptions, including in Maryland.

 

At $2.83 per gallon, the national gas price average is trending toward lower gas prices that motorists haven’t seen since early May. Today’s national gas price average is a penny lower than Friday’s price, the kick-off to the holiday weekend. The average is one cent less on the week, four-cents cheaper than last month, but 19 cents more than a year ago.

 

Motorists took advantage of these stable and lower prices by driving gasoline demand to its highest level ever on record at nearly 9.9 million barrels for the week ending August 24, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). However, that spike is not expected to continue.

 

“With summer in the rearview mirror, demand is expected to significantly drop off in the coming weeks which means motorists could expect to see gas prices steadily decline,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “AAA expects the national average to hit $2.70 or less this fall, while Maryland’s average is likely to fall several pennies lower than this benchmark.”

 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Gasoline Prices and Supplies

Gas prices in most areas across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, including Maryland, remained flat for the holiday weekend and compared to last week, although there were exceptions in some metro areas.

 

Marylanders who hit the road on Friday for the holiday weekend returned home on Monday to find prices virtually unchanged at the pump with the exception of Western Maryland, where prices increased several pennies in Cumberland and Hagerstown. Maryland gas prices are the highest in Cumberland at $2.96 per gallon, four cents away from $3.00 per gallon.

 

Today’s state average is $2.79 per gallon, which is unchanged from last week, six cents lower than last month, and only seven cents higher than last year’s price on this date.

 

Last year at this time, motorists filling up at the pump were feeling the effects of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the Gulf Coast, as refineries and pipeline shutdowns put a squeeze on gasoline production and distribution. Maryland’s average price spiked 42 cents per gallon during a ten-day period from August 29 at $2.33 per gallon to $2.75 on September 7.

 

Gasoline inventories added a surprise for this time of year- landing at 837,000 barrels, according to the latest EIA data. The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast were the only regions to see an inventory build. At 64 million barrels in total, the region is sitting on a 1.5 million surplus, which is helping to keep gas prices flat and cheaper than earlier this summer.

 

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline 

 

9/4/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.83

 

$2.84

 

$2.87

 

$2.64

 

Maryland

 

$2.79

 

$2.79

 

$2.85

 

$2.72

 

Annapolis

 

$2.74

 

$2.74

 

$2.80

 

$2.72

 

Baltimore

 

$2.75

 

$2.75

 

$2.82

 

$2.73

 

Cumberland

 

$2.96

 

$2.88

 

$2.92

 

$2.63

 

Frederick

 

$2.80

 

$2.79

 

$2.84

 

$2.73

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.87

 

$2.84

 

$2.87

 

$2.73

 

Salisbury

 

$2.67

 

$2.67

 

$2.79

 

$2.67

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.90

 

$2.90

 

$2.93

 

$2.76

 

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil decreased 45 cents to settle at $69.80 per barrel from the previous day’s close.

 

Oil prices reflected modest gains last week, following the release of EIA’s report, which showed U.S. crude inventories fell nearly 2.6 million barrels. The U.S. also saw gasoline production increase last week, averaging 10.2 million barrels per day and refinery capacity sitting at 93.6 percent. Another sign of increased U.S. production came with the gain of two oil rigs bringing the U.S. total to 862 rigs, according to Baker Hughes.

 

International factors are also impacting global supply and demand for crude oil as Iranian oil exports drop due to sanctions. The market may react to tightened supply and subsequently pressure prices higher, as a result of the next round of U.S. economic sanctions against Iran that are expected in November.

 

Market watchers will keep a close eye on the impacts of additional Iran sanctions and the storm in the Gulf of Mexico. Both factors could affect prices at the pump moving forward.

 

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

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Mailing Address:
8600 LaSalle Road, Ste 639
Towson, MD 21286

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than 975,000 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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