By: Ragina C Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic
Nearly three weeks after attacks on major Saudi Arabian oil facilities and subsequent gas price spikes, local pump prices are “falling” into seasonal declines. Maryland drivers are seeing continued relief at the pump. A weekly crude oil decrease of $3.10 this week and an increase in crude oil supplies are helping to keep prices down. The national average increased a penny on the week, possibly caused by sharp increases in prices along the West coast.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $2.50, which is down five cents in the last week, up seven cents in the last month and is 34 cents lower than on this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.66, up a penny in the last week, up nine cents in the last month and down 25 cents from this time last year.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
|Today||Week Ago||Month Ago||Year Ago|
|Washington Suburbs(MD only)||$2.63||$2.66||$2.58||$2.92|
|Crude Oil||$52.81per barrel(10/4/19)||$55.91per barrel(9/27/19)||$56.52per barrel(9/6/19)||$74.34per barrel(10/5/18)|
At the close of NYMEX trading Thursday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $52.81 per barrel, $3.10 lower than last Friday’s close. Crude prices dropped throughout the week, intensified by the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly report showing a build in oil supplies. Other factors, including concerns about global oversupply and lower demand, also kept prices lower. Next week’s planned meeting of U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators will be watched closely to see if the economic forecast improves, potentially giving oil prices a boost.
“Nearly three weeks after attacks on major Saudi Arabian oil facilities, the majority of Maryland drivers are seeing signs of gas prices dropping,” says Jeanette Tejeda de Gomez, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Lower crude oil prices and a slight increase in gasoline supply along the East coast have helped moved gas prices downward.”
The Week Ahead
As crude oil prices drop to levels seen prior to the Saudi Arabian oil facility attacks, motorists can expect to see gas prices follow suit. Pump prices in Maryland are likely to continue a downward trend, which is in line with seasonal expectations due to reduced demand and the (now complete) switchover to the less expensive winter blend gasoline.