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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 (July 23, 2018)Volatility is the trend for July gas prices, as the rate for crude oil rises and drops amid lingering geopolitical concerns. In the U.S., the first half of July saw pump prices increase from $2.85 to $2.89 per gallon, while the second half of the month is proving cheaper with the national gas price average down to $2.84 today. The national average has not been this low since early May. Today’s nationwide average is four cents cheaper than last week, two cents cheaper than last month, but 56 cents more expensive than a year ago.

 

For the first half of July, Maryland’s average increased from $2.80 on July 1 to $2.85 per gallon by mid-month. Today the state average is $2.82 per gallon, three cents less than last week and the lowest prices since July 6. Today’s price is a penny higher than last month and 55 cents higher than last year on this date.

 

“July gas prices have been on a roller coaster ride, but appear to be on a downward slope at the moment. If demand and supply stay consistent, prices have the potential to stabilize barring any major events – geopolitical or natural disasters,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The market is also following this up and down trend lately. Last week, crude oil prices dropped below $70 per barrel for the first time since June, but then returned above the price point to close out last week.”

 

In the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region, gasoline inventory sits at a healthy 66.3 million barrels with the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reporting a small withdrawal of 148,000 barrels in their latest report. Despite the region seeing a two million barrel surplus year-over-year, gas prices in the region are over 50 cents per gallon higher than last summer, but the strong inventory levels may help to stabilize or drop gas prices in the coming week.

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

7/23/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.84

 

$2.88

 

$2.86

 

$2.28

 

Maryland

 

$2.82

 

$2.85

 

$2.81

 

$2.27

 

Annapolis

 

$2.79

 

$2.82

 

$2.76

 

$2.23

 

Baltimore

 

$2.79

 

$2.83

 

$2.78

 

$2.25

 

Cumberland

 

$2.95

 

$2.97

 

$2.92

 

$2.34

 

Frederick

 

$2.81

 

$2.83

 

$2.81

 

$2.25

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.79

 

$2.81

 

$2.77

 

$2.30

 

Salisbury

 

$2.74

 

$2.79

 

$2.68

 

$2.20

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.92

 

$2.93

 

$2.93

 

$2.32

  

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil increased $1.00 to settle at $70.46 per barrel. Oil prices trended higher at the end of last week despite the latest data from the EIA on record-breaking U.S. crude production. At 11 million barrels per day, total crude production in the U.S. hit its highest rate ever recorded since the EIA began reporting its data.

 

Moving into this week, analyst are continuing to keep an eye on the global supply restraints due to U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and ongoing economic troubles in Venezuela, which could send crude production prices higher. 

 

The U.S. dropped five oil rigs last week leaving today’s total at 858. In spite of this, with nearly 94 more active oil rigs over last year's count, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., increased oil production shows few signs of slowing down through the second half of 2018. Growth in domestic oil production helped total crude inventories around the country increase by 5.8 million barrels last week, bringing the total to 411.1 million barrels.

 

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 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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