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

The Week

Gas prices did an about-face this week, rising in some Maryland areas by as much as six cents on the week, compared to decreases seen last week. A surprise build in crude oil supply, a decrease in gasoline supply and a continued high demand for gasoline has prices in a volatile state. AAA expects gas prices to trend higher and remain unpredictable heading into the final weeks of the summer driving season.

 

Today’s national gas price average is $2.87, which is up a penny in the last week and last month, and 54 cents per gallon higher than this time last year.

 

Maryland’s average is four cents lower than the national average at $2.83 per gallon, which is three cents more than last week, two cents higher than last month, and 49 cents more than last year on this date. Cumberland’s average dropped a penny and the average for the Maryland suburbs of Washington remained unchanged; however, average price increases for other regions across the state ranged from a penny to as much as six cents per gallon.

 

At the close of NYMEX trading Thursday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $68.96 per barrel, a 65 cents drop from last week.

 

A surprise build in crude oil supply kept crude prices below $70 for part of the week but a price increase took hold Thursday after a private report showed crude inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub dropped more than one million barrels in less than a week.  

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

8/3/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.87

 

$2.86

 

$2.86

 

$2.33

 

Maryland

 

$2.83

 

$2.80

 

$2.81

 

$2.34

 

Annapolis

 

$2.78

 

$2.77

 

$2.76

 

$2.32

 

Baltimore

 

$2.80

 

$2.77

 

$2.78

 

$2.33

 

Cumberland

 

$2.91

 

$2.92

 

$2.97

 

$2.38

 

Frederick

 

$2.83

 

$2.79

 

$2.81

 

$2.34

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.88

 

$2.82

 

$2.77

 

$2.34

 

Salisbury

 

$2.76

 

$2.70

 

$2.70

 

$2.30

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.92

 

$2.90

 

$2.92

 

$2.38

 

Crude Oil

 

$68.96

per barrel

(Thursday, 8/2/18)

 

$69.61

per barrel

(Thursday, 7/26/18)

 

$73.94

per barrel

(7/2/18)

 

$49.49

per barrel

(8/2/17)

The Weekend

Motorists should expect gas prices to remain volatile and possibly trend higher in the weeks ahead, ahead of the Labor Day holiday,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Regionally, prices are on the rise but are not at the point where drivers will likely cancel any final summer road trip plans.” 

 

The Week Ahead

Crude oil prices continue to be influenced by a variety of geopolitical factors. The ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China had raised concerns over the potential for a fall in global oil demand. There are also concerns surrounding Iranian oil, as Iran has the potential to drill in the Persian Gulf, threatening to shut the Strait of Hormuz, a key world congestion point for oil shipping. In addition, political instability in Libya and Venezuela and recent U.S. actions of pulling out of a nuclear deal in Iran means there is less oil available.

 

In the near future, tightening domestic crude supply, robust global gasoline demand and high global crude demand will likely be sustained, leading to more expensive crude oil prices, which are $20 per barrel more compared to last year. 

 

AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel: 

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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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