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

TOWSON, MD (September 17, 2018) – While Hurricane Florence battered the Carolinas over the weekend with life-threating storm-surge, rain and flooding, it has had little to no impact on gas prices, with the national average, holding steady at $2.85 on the week and on the month, but 22 cents higher than last year at this time.

 

Gas prices have not seen much movement because unlike the Gulf Coast, which is home to dozens of refineries, the Carolinas house only pipelines and terminals. This means U.S. crude processing is not impacted and therefore neither are gas prices nationally.

 

Prior to Florence’s arrival, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported the Lower Atlantic Region’s total gasoline stocks -- which includes West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida -- measured at 27.9 million barrels. That is 10 percent higher than the 5-year average for this time of year.

 

“Gasoline stocks in the hurricane-impacted area are healthy, but delivery of gasoline will be an impediment to meeting demand in coastal areas this week,” said Christine Sarames Delise, a AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson. “As power is restored, water recedes and roads open-up, we will have a better idea of how quickly fuel deliveries can be made to gas stations in the area. And while fuel availability at stations is a concern, AAA expects station outages to be short-lived.”

 

According to the Department of Energy, states are working closely with industry to expedite resupply shipments to impacted areas. AAA will continue to monitor hurricane recovery efforts and fuel resupply.

 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Gasoline Prices and Supplies

Hurricane Florence drove up gas prices in North Carolina (+3 cents) and Virginia (+1 cent) this past week. All other states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region saw prices decrease by a few cents or remained relatively stable.

 

Maryland’s prices remained relatively stable throughout the week with some metro areas experiencing nominal increases or decreases.  Today’s state average price is a penny lower than the national average at $2.84 per gallon, which is one cent higher than last week’s price, four cents higher than last month, and 19 cents more than last year’s cost on this date.

 

For motorists in coastal parts of North Carolina and Virginia, fuel availability post Hurricane Florence is a concern. As residents evacuated, panic-buying and tank-topping set-in, leaving some gas stations with low to no fuel at their pumps.

 

The positive news is that Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regional gasoline inventories sit at a healthy 66.7 million barrels, which is not only the second highest inventory level recorded for the region this year, but a level not seen in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region since March 2016.

 

This means that the region has adequate supply on-hand, and, weather-dependent, could be a resource to assist with resupply in the hurricane-impacted area, once water levels subside, roads are passable and power is restored.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

9/17/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.85

 

$2.85

 

$2.85

 

$2.63

 

Maryland

 

$2.84

 

$2.83

 

$2.80

 

$2.65

 

Annapolis

 

$2.81

 

$2.80

 

$2.76

 

$2.60

 

Baltimore

 

$2.81

 

$2.81

 

$2.77

 

$2.63

 

Cumberland

 

$2.93

 

$2.94

 

$2.90

 

$2.69

 

Frederick

 

$2.83

 

$2.83

 

$2.82

 

$2.65

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.88

 

$2.86

 

$2.86

 

$2.76

 

Salisbury

 

$2.76

 

$2.78

 

$2.70

 

$2.54

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.92

 

$2.91

 

$2.91

 

$2.73

 

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil increased 40 cents to settle at $68.99 per barrel. Oil prices have edged higher last week following the release of the EIA’s weekly petroleum report that showed crude stocks fell by 5.3 million barrel last week. If supplies fall again in this week’s report, crude prices could climb further.

 

Dwindling supplies have put a spotlight on shrinking global crude inventories, which could cause oil prices to push to $70-$80 per barrel this fall. Continued decline in crude production from Venezuela and anticipated reduced crude exports from Iran due to U.S.-imposed sanctions that go into effect in November could place greater pressure on the market. In the near term, U.S. crude production has not been impacted by Hurricane Florence, as there were no refineries in Florence’s path.

 

 

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 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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