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

TOWSON, MD (December 3, 2018)Today, motorists in 32 states, including in Maryland, are paying less to fill up compared to a year ago. As the national gas price average drops to $2.46 per gallon, it sets a new low price for the year and is cheaper than a year ago by two cents. The last time the daily national gas price average was cheaper year-over-year was 18 months ago on July 6, 2017 when gas prices were $2.24 (versus $2.26 on July 6, 2016).

 

Not only is today’s national gas price average cheaper year-over-year, but it is also is 31-cents cheaper than a month ago and on the week, 24 states saw gas prices drop double digits.

 

“Cheap crude oil prices are driving fuel savings at the pump,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Last week crude dropped to its lowest point of the year at $50 per barrel. However, this week’s Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting could cause crude oil prices to jump if the organization decides to reduce crude production.”

 

OPEC is expected to make an announcement on crude production at its December 6 meeting in Vienna, Austria. The scheduled OPEC meeting has not had a negative impact on pump prices so far.

 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Gasoline Prices and Supplies

At $2.20 per gallon, Delaware has the cheapest gas price average of any state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. Maryland’s average price is $2.37 per gallon, a five cents decline from last week, a 25 cents drop from last month, and nine cents lower than the price last year on this date.

 

Despite a draw of nearly 700,000 barrels, gasoline stocks continue to measure above 61 million barrels, the EIA reports. Regional refinery unitization jumped to 86 percent (from 77 percent the prior week) indicating that a large build could be coming in the week ahead and contribute towards reducing gas prices even further.

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

12/3/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.46

 

$2.56

 

$2.77

 

$2.48

 

Maryland

 

$2.37

 

$2.42

 

$2.62

 

$2.46

 

Annapolis

 

$2.27

 

$2.33

 

$2.54

 

$2.41

 

Baltimore

 

$2.28

 

$2.34

 

$2.55

 

$2.43

 

Cumberland

 

$2.64

 

$2.69

 

$2.78

 

$2.58

 

Frederick

 

$2.38

 

$2.44

 

$2.63

 

$2.48

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.49

 

$2.59

 

$2.77

 

$2.55

 

Salisbury

 

$2.18

 

$2.23

 

$2.48

 

$2.35

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.58

 

$2.64

 

$2.79

 

$2.54

 

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil dropped to settle at $50.93 per barrel. Crude prices continued to fall last week, reaching their lowest point since October 2017. The drop in price has many market observers speculating that at this week's OPEC meeting on December 6 in Vienna, Austria, the cartel, alongside Russia, will announce a reduction in crude production, aimed at raising the global price of crude.

 

The exact impact on global prices will be determined by how severe the production cut is and how long the reduction agreement will be held in place. In related news, this morning, Qatar announced it would withdraw from OPEC to develop and increase its natural gas production. The withdrawal will likely not have a huge impact on production as Qatar accounts for just under two percent of OPEC total output.

 

In the U.S., total domestic crude inventories continue to climb. In the latest weekly petroleum status report from the EIA, crude inventories grew to 450.5 million barrels. This is strong for the year, even though it is approximately 3.7 million barrels lower than last year’s level at this time. If this week's EIA report shows another crude inventory build, the news will likely help crude prices remain low.   

  

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 over 59 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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