Local gas prices could see uptick ahead of the holiday weekend, following crude oil increases
News Release, AAA
As local drivers set their sights on the Memorial Day weekend, they may have to dig a little deeper in their wallets to fill up for a holiday road trip. A dramatic drop in demand caused prices to level off and even lower in some areas of the country this week, including Maryland. AAA is warning drivers that this dip in prices may not last long as a $1.10 increase in the price of crude oil this week could send prices back up just before the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Maryland’s statewide gas price average Friday is $2.75, which is three cents lower than last week, one cent higher than last month and 15 cents lower than on this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.85, which is down two cents in the last week, up two cents in the last month, and is six cents lower than last year’s price.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
|Today||Week Ago||Month Ago||Year Ago|
|Washington Suburbs(MD only)||$2.84||$2.85||$2.82||$2.95|
|Crude Oil||$62.76per barrel(Fri. 5/17/19)||$61.66per barrel(5/10/19)||$64.07per barrel(4/18/19)||$66.06per barrel(5/18/18)|
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $62.76 per barrel, $1.10 higher than last Friday’s close. Escalating international tensions have been affecting crude prices, as collapsing Venezuelan oil exports, worsening tensions in the Middle East following the damage of two Saudi Arabian crude tankers, as well as Saudi Arabia’s announcement that armed drones hit two of its oil pumping stations, have stoked fears about global crude oil supply.
“Although drivers may see a jump at the pump just before the Memorial Day weekend, right now, Maryland drivers are paying 23 cents less than they did last year for the holiday,” says Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The possibility of a gas price increase is not expected to stop the more than 37 million Americans planning a road trip to mark the unofficial start of summer.”
The Week Ahead
Nearly 43 million Americans (up 3.6 percent from 2018) will say hello to summer by traveling 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day. The long holiday weekend, marking the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, will see the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes dating back to 2000, trailing only the bar set in 2005. Despite a national gas price average that has inched closer to the $3 per gallon mark, the vast majority of holiday travelers – 37.6 million or 88 percent – will drive to their destinations.