By: Ragina C Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic
Following a busy holiday long weekend that saw nearly 1.15 million drivers traveling on roadways in Maryland, gas prices locally and nationally saw minimal fluctuation. Maryland’s statewide Thanksgiving gas price average was four cents higher than last year’s average but saw a slight drop this week. East Coast gasoline stocks increased on the week and winter weather curbed gasoline demand, leading to a decrease in prices in some areas.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $2.46, which is down two cents in the last week, and four cents from last month, but is up 12 cents from this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.58, unchanged in the last week, down four cents in the last month and up 14 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)||$2.55||$2.55||$2.58||$2.55|
|Crude Oil||$59.20per barrel(12/6/19)||$55.17per barrel(11/29/19)||$57.24per barrel(11/08/19)||$52.61per barrel(12/7/18)|
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $59.20 per barrel, $4.03 higher than last Friday’s close. Oil prices gained more than four percent on Wednesday, as a result of a larger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude inventories and hopes of deeper production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC and Russia agreed Thursday to make further cuts in oil production to help support crude prices.
“Gasoline stocks have steadily increased the past few weeks as gasoline demand has started to slow following the busy Thanksgiving travel holiday,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “While those trends can create cheaper gas prices, there may still be some price volatility because of rising crude prices.”
The Week Ahead
During Thursday’s OPEC meeting in Vienna, OPEC and allied producers agreed to cut production by an additional 500,000 barrels per day until March 2020. The cuts must be unanimously approved by the entire OPEC group and will be reviewed again during the March 5-6 Vienna meeting. Following the official production cut announcement, crude prices headed toward the $60 mark, but experts say the details of the agreement could determine which way crude prices will move.