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

The Week

Local gas prices around the Mid-Atlantic region and nationwide have continued to rise due to record level demand for gasoline in April, unrest in the Middle East and rising crude oil prices. Neighboring Pennsylvania has the highest prices in the region this week with the state average hitting the $3.00 per gallon mark on Wednesday.

 

Today’s national gas price average is $2.80, which is up five cents in the last week, up 18 cents in the last month and 40 cents higher than this time last year. Today’s nationwide average cost has climbed to the highest per gallon average price since June 2015.

 

Maryland’s average cost at the pump is two cents lower than the national average at $2.78 per gallon.  The state average is six cents more than last week’s price, 11 cents higher than last month, and 38 cents more than last year’s price on this date. Maryland’s average has surpassed last year’s peak price of $2.75 per gallon and is at the highest average price since June 17, 2015.  Many metro areas across the state, including Cumberland, Hagerstown, and Washington’s Maryland suburbs, are pricing at or above $2.80 per gallon.

 

At the close of NYMEX trading Thursday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $68.19 per barrel, nearly on par with the previous week’s price. Crude oil exports surged to 2.331 million barrels per day (b/d) last week – the highest weekly estimate on record from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Additionally, the EIA reported that consumer gasoline demand at 9.857 million b/d is the highest level ever on record for the month of April and exceeds typical summer demand measurements.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

4/27/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.80

 

$2.75

 

$2.62

 

$2.40

 

Maryland

 

$2.78

 

$2.72

 

$2.67

 

$2.40

 

Annapolis

 

$2.75

 

$2.69

 

$2.65

 

$2.38

 

Baltimore

 

$2.76

 

$2.70

 

$2.66

 

$2.39

 

Cumberland

 

$2.88

 

$2.86

 

$2.67

 

$2.42

 

Frederick

 

$2.78

 

$2.72

 

$2.67

 

$2.37

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.80

 

$2.75

 

$2.65

 

$2.38

 

Salisbury

 

$2.75

 

$2.66

 

$2.61

 

$2.31

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.82

 

$2.77

 

$2.72

 

$2.44

 

Crude Oil

 

$68.19

per barrel

(Thursday, 4/26/18)

 

$68.29

per barrel

(Thursday, 4/19/18

 

$65.55

per barrel

(3/26/18)

 

$49.62

per barrel

(4/26/17)

 

                   

The Weekend

“Rising gas prices may cause headaches for those planning their next trip, especially as Memorial Day weekend is only a month away,” said Christine Sarames Delise, a spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Motorists can take steps to save on every day gas prices by properly maintaining their vehicle, adjusting driving habits and using the right fuel for their vehicle.”

 

AAA Mid-Atlantic provides the following tips to save on rising gas prices:

  • Keep the tires properly inflated.  Vehicles with under-inflated tires can cause a drag on the vehicle that is like driving with the parking brake slightly on.  The correct PSI (pressure per square inch) for the vehicle is located on the driver side doorjamb not on the sidewall of the tire.  The PSI on the sidewall of the tire is the maximum PSI for the tire, not the vehicle PSI recommendation.

  • Change your air filters.  Air filters clogged with dirt, dust, and insects can prevent an even exchange of air intake that wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power.

  • Check the engine oil level when buying gasoline to be sure the engine is lubricated properly.  Using the recommended grade of motor oil can save between three and five cents a gallon.

  • Unload your trunk.  Pack lightly when traveling and avoid carrying unnecessary items on the vehicle's roof or in its trunk.

  • Adjust your driving habits.  Accelerate gently, brake gradually and avoid hard stops.  Driving aggressively causes your engine to work harder costing more in fuel. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by five percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.

  • Buy regular unleaded gasoline unless otherwise indicated by your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

  • Download the AAA mobile app to find the lowest gas prices for your area.  

 

The Week Ahead

With the May 1 federally-mandated deadline approaching for refineries to switch to producing the more-expensive summer blend, followed by the June 1 date for retailers to make the switch to selling the gas, the rise in prices is expected to be far from over.  AAA predicts that gas prices may potentially increase by 5 to 10 cents more through Memorial Day, but does not expect the national average to hit $3/gallon this year, although many states have already reached this benchmark. Gas prices are expected to stabilize this summer, with the understanding that if demand spikes, prices are likely to follow.

 

Next Weekend Gas Watch: Friday, May 4, 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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