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

AAA Mid-Atlantic Weekend Gas Watch

 

Fueling Up is Draining Drivers’ Wallets

 

The Week

Local and national gas prices continue to trend upward, despite the traditional dip drivers are accustomed to seeing following the first of the year. The unwelcome news for motorists is that there may not be much in the way of a break in pump prices between now and the start of refinery maintenance season in early spring.

 

Today’s national gas price average is $2.54, unchanged from last week but 12 cents higher than last month and 21 cents per gallon more than last year’s price on this date.

 

Maryland’s average is two cents higher than the national average at $2.56 per gallon, which is two cents higher than last week, 15 cents more than last month, and 21 cents higher than last year on this date. 

 

At the close of NYMEX trading Thursday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $63.95 per barrel, 15 cents higher than the previous week, making it the twelfth consecutive trading day the commodity has settled above $60.

 

Since mid-December, the price of crude has increased approximately $7 per barrel.  This is a surprising development considering the commodity remained below $60 per barrel throughout 2017, despite OPEC’s production cuts. In its January oil report, OPEC states it held its crude production steady in December but that rivals, including the United States, Nigeria and Algeria, may be pumping out more barrels as the year continues.

 

Data from the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) first Drilling Productivity Report for 2018 is confirming OPEC’s prediction regarding the United States. The EIA report released this week estimates crude oil production in the U.S. will climb by 111,000 barrels per day next month.  The increase will help put production on track to average 10.3 million barrels per day in 2018, which would be a new record for U.S. crude production.

 

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

1/19/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.54

 

$2.54

 

$2.42

 

$2.33

 

Maryland

 

$2.56

 

$2.54

 

$2.41

 

$2.35

 

Annapolis

 

$2.55

 

$2.52

 

$2.35

 

$2.32

 

Baltimore

 

$2.56

 

$2.54

 

$2.38

 

$2.33

 

Cumberland

 

$2.63

 

$2.58

 

$2.55

 

$2.45

 

Frederick

 

$2.56

 

$2.53

 

$2.43

 

$2.32

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.59

 

$2.58

 

$2.62

 

$2.37

 

Salisbury

 

$2.49

 

$2.48

 

$2.29

 

$2.30

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.61

 

$2.58

 

$2.51

 

$2.39

 

Crude Oil

 

$63.95

per barrel

(Thursday, 1/18/18)

 

$63.80

per barrel

(Thursday, 1/11/18

 

$57.16

per barrel

(12/18/17)

 

$51.08

per barrel

(1/18/17)

 

 

The Weekend

“While we typically see a dip in gas prices prior to the early spring refinery maintenance season, the recent rise in crude oil prices continues to push gas prices higher,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The demand for gasoline so far this year is more than five percent higher than last year, also adding to the price increases.”

 

The Week Ahead

Refinery issues along the Gulf Coast may play into gas prices in the coming days. The unseasonably cold weather, not typically found in the South, caused leaks, instrumentation problems and flares at refineries in Texas and Louisiana. In some cases, production units were shut down until the issues could be resolved.  As is typically the case, any disruption in refining or production capacity will send prices at the pump upward.

 

 

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, January 26, 2018

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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 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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