By: Ragina C Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic
Drivers across Maryland saw gas prices dip this week, following more than a week of crude oil price fluctuation and geopolitical concerns between the U.S. and Iran. Crude oil inventories decreased but gasoline supplies, including those along the East coast, increased, allowing Maryland gas prices to fall six cents in the last week.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $2.48, which is down six cents in the last week, up to three cents from last month, and up 26 cents from this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.56, down three cents in the last week, up a penny in the last month and up 32 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)||$2.57||$2.60||$2.53||$2.35|
|Crude Oil||$58.54per barrel(1/17/20)||$59.04per barrel(1/10/20)||$60.44per barrel(12/20/19)||$53.80per barrel(1/18/19)|
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $58.54 per barrel, 50 cents lower than last Friday’s close. Oil prices remained under the $60 mark during the week but gained some steam Thursday as news of Senate approval of a trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and China broke along with the signing of the U.S.-China trade deal (Wednesday), which could boost prospects for improved global economic growth and therefore, energy demand.
“Local drivers are enjoying cheaper prices at the pump, thanks to cooling tensions with Iran and a healthy level of gasoline stocks, both locally and nationally,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “As long as supplies remain healthy and the demand for gas is low, drivers should continue to see lower pump prices.”
The Week Ahead
In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects WTI crude oil prices to average about $59.50 per barrel in 2020 and $62.50 in 2021, compared to a WTI average price of $56.65 per barrel in 2019. The EIA reports U.S. regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.60 per gallon in 2019 and forecasts that they will average $2.63 per gallon in both 2020 and 2021.