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

The Week

The start of spring coincides with the start of a ‘spring’ in gas prices across the country and here in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland.  Except for Cumberland, areas across the state are experiencing weekly increases ranging from two cents per gallon in Hagerstown to as high as 12 cents in Salisbury.

 

The trifecta of lower gasoline and oil inventories, higher oil prices, and refinery maintenance season are sending local prices upward following a long stretch of dropping prices.

 

Today’s national gas price average is $2.59 per gallon, which is six cents more than last week, seven cents higher than last month, and 30 cents more than this time last year.

 

In a turn from typical trends, Maryland’s average cost at the pump has been pacing slightly higher than the national average this week at $2.61 per gallon. The state average is nine cents more than last week, 11 cents higher than last month, and 32 cents more than last year’s price on this date. Average prices across Maryland are now trending higher than last month’s costs, with the exception of Cumberland, which has remained steady.

 

At the close of NYMEX trading Thursday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $64.30 per barrel, up $3.11 from the previous week’s close.  WTI settled over $65 per barrel on Wednesday, the biggest one-day gain since November, and the highest price since February 2. This week’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) supply report showed a surprising draw in crude oil inventories, which stopped a three-week stretch of gains.

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

3/23/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.59

 

$2.53

 

$2.52

 

$2.29

 

Maryland

 

$2.61

 

$2.52

 

$2.50

 

$2.29

 

Annapolis

 

$2.58

 

$2.49

 

$2.45

 

$2.26

 

Baltimore

 

$2.59

 

$2.50

 

$2.47

 

$2.27

 

Cumberland

 

$2.66

 

$2.66

 

$2.65

 

$2.38

 

Frederick

 

$2.62

 

$2.50

 

$2.47

 

$2.29

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.59

 

$2.57

 

$2.55

 

$2.33

 

Salisbury

 

$2.49

 

$2.37

 

$2.39

 

$2.17

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.68

 

$2.62

 

$2.57

 

$2.37

 

Crude Oil

 

$64.30

per barrel

(Thursday, 3/22/18)

 

$61.19

per barrel

(Thursday, 3/15/18

 

$62.77

per barrel

(2/22/18)

 

$48.04

per barrel

(3/22/17)

 

The Weekend

“Continued strong demand for gasoline, rising crude oil prices and declining inventories have pushed Maryland gas prices in some areas as high as 12 cents per gallon this week,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “This increase is not a chance occurrence - motorists seeing higher prices at the pump this week should expect those prices to inch even higher as we head into April.”

 

The Week Ahead

AAA expects gas prices, which are already 25 cents higher than they were last year at this time, to increase by another 25-30 cents ahead of the busy summer driving season, but that is not deterring families from taking a good old fashion road trip.  A new AAA survey reveals an estimated 88 million Americans will take a family trip this year.  Gas prices – likely the highest prices seen since 2014 – will not stop vacation planners from packing up their cars.  Road trips remain the most popular option for family vacations, with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of those planning a trip expected to go by car.

 

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, March 30, 2018

     

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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 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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